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CHAPTER II. REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued) .... 51 












ACTS 455 






INDEX .... 468-491 


Page 113, line 17, for 'put up' read ' pmt up. 1 
119, 21,,, 'bigotted' read' bigoted.' 
206, 29,,, 'nistakes 1 read' mistakes.' 
207, 5,,, 'detatched' read' detached.' 


THE Irish penal code has long occupied an evil pre-eminence 
among the similar codes of Europe. Though its worst enactments 
may be parallelled if not exceeded in the decrees of Louis XIV. 
against the Huguenots or the Sweedish legislation against the 
Jesuits yet in its symmetric completeness, its multiplicity of cruel 
detail, it stands apart and alone. In other countries penal laws 
were passed against minorities. They were the scalpel as it were, 
for the excision of something alien from the body politic. In 
Ireland they may be likened to poison injected into and diffused 
through every current of the national life. Their purpose was 
not to benefit the country as a whole, but to pauperise, degrade, 
and enfeeble it. 

The code itself has often been analysed from the days of 
Burke down, while its effects have- been admirably summarised 
by Lecky (a). Its actual working has never been described. 
Volumes, it is true, have been written on the subject but instead 
of investigating the facts, the writers have copied one another's 
assertions or devoted themselves to eloquent declamation. On 
the one hand we read of the Church of Ireland passing through 
"an ordeal of persecution unparalleled in the history of mankind" (&) . 
of "unexampled sufferings during three centuries of persecution and 
penal laws" (c). Authorities on the other side would fain represent 
that the penal laws rarely found their way outside the statute 
book, that they were mere reserves of power, political expedients 
' used by government in times of special danger, as when threatened 
by foreign invasion or Jacobite plots. Even Lecky shared in part 
this view. He was of opinion that the persecution could never 
have been really stringent since it was met by the passive resistance 
of the great body of the nation (d). Between these extremes it 
is possible to determine where the truth lies only by a careful study 

(a) Burke, Tracts on the Penal Laws. Lecky, History of Ireland in 
the Eighteenth Century, Chapter I. 

(6) Brennan, Ecclesiastical History of Ireland, Preface. 

(c) Moran, Persecution of the Irish Catholics, Preface. 

(d) History of Ireland II., p. 266. 


of all the evidence available. In the case of the laws disabling 
Catholics from holding property this evidence is singularly full and 
complete, but not so in regard to the laws against the priests 
with which this volume deals. For the crown books at assizes 
and quarter sessions, bill books, presentments, informations, gaol 
returns have almost all disappeared, and the operation of this 
section of the code can be learnt only incidentally and on occasions. 
Hence the documents which are here printed, are to be read not so 
much for what they contain as what they suggest ; they are con- 
vergent rather than conclusive. Two facts, however, they establish 
beyond question. In the first place it is clear from the Council 
books and the correspondence of the Lords Lieutenant and Lords 
Justices that government spared no effort to enforce the law. 
There were instructions to justices of assize, mandates to sheriffs 
and inferior magistrates, requisitions to the military, rewards and 
encouragement to informers in short the whole executive 
machinery was put in motion to harass and if possible exterminate 
the Catholic priesthood. The second fact of which there is abundant 
evidence is that the local authorities, for the most part, actively 
co-operated. It might be supposed that country gentlemen would 
be unwilling to take part in the work of persecution. They lived 
mostly on their estates ; their tenantry and servants were Catholics ; 
they had every reason to cultivate good relations with their neigh- 
bours, yet the slightest research into the vast collection of "Country 
Letters" in the Irish Record Office discovers everywhere the 
spirit of which the penal code was but the legal embodiment. The 
Puritan settlers in truth needed no spur from the executive. They 
had a rancour and a bigotry entirely their own. Upon this point 
we have some decisive information. The Grand Jury presentment 
book for the County Limerick for part of Queen Anne's and the 
whole of George the First's reign is still preserved the only record 
of its class extant. It shows that regularly every assizes from 1711 
to 1726 when it ends, there were proceedings against priests. In that 
period the executive only once (in 1714) appealed to the Limerick 
magistrates to enforce the law. Again take Clare and Galway 
where if in any part of Ireland, the popery laws might be supposed 
impossible of execution, yet from no other counties are there as full 


particulars of priest hunting. So far indeed from tempering the 
code, it would appear that the local authorities often gave it a 
special force and edge in the execution. Viewing therefore the 
evidence as a whole there can be little doubt as to the character 
and extent of the warfare carried on against the clergy. But 
even if all official documents had perished, if its statutes had 
disappeared with the Irish Parliament itself, the history of these 
evil times might still be read upon the face of the land. The 
"Mass Rock," the "Old Altar," the "Priests' Hollow," the "Chapel 
of the Horn" (e), and many a similar name in every district in the 
country are witnesses more abiding than parchments to a pro- 
scribed religion and a hunted priesthood. The thoughtful student 
will find perhaps still higher testimony to the fire of persecution 
in the weld and fusion it effected between priests and people. 

The following papers are derived mainly from two sources, 
the Carte manuscripts in the Bodleian, Oxford, and the State 
Paper department of the Irish Record Office. The former furnished 
most of those for the seventeenth century, the latter for the 
eighteenth. As there is no printed calendar of the Carte collection 
only a limited use could be made of that great repertory. Two 
volumes of the proceedings of the Irish Privy Council have however 
supplied much information. The papers in the Record Office will 
be found under the headings "Civil Correspondence," "Present- 
ments and Petitions to Lords Lieutenant and Lords Justices," 
"Miscellaneous Papers," "Church Miscellaneous," "Departmental 
Correspondence," "Parliamentary Returns," "Southwell Papers," 
Crown and Peace Records. ' ' A few documents have been obtained 
from Marsh's Library and some from the Essex Papers in the 
British Museum. It has been thought well to reprint a few others 
that have appeared in the Historical Manuscripts Reports and 
elsewhere. With the exception of these latter, the contents of this 
volume will be altogether new to students (/). 

(e) Place Names of the Decies, Power. 

(/) Since the above was written a series of papers has appeared in the 
Jnsh Ecclesiastical Record from Rev. Reginald Walsh, O.P., entitled 
Glimpses of the Penal Times." Some seven or eight documents in Chapters 
ill. and V. have been printed in his studies, and in several cases the lives 
of persecuted regulars have been traced with a minuteness and accuracy of 
research beyond all praise. 



THE attitude of government towards the Catholic Church in 
Ireland during the reign of Charles II. varied according to 
the party in the ascendant and the exigencies of English 
politics. Thus there was complete toleration in the vice-royalty 
of Lord Berkeley, 1670-2, whilst on the other hand a fierce per- 
secution raged during the period of Lord Essex, part of Ormond's 
first term of office and nearly the whole of his second. Puritan 
and Royalist both agreed in principle but while the one aimed at 
destroying Catholicism by suppressing public worship and exter- 
minating the priests, the other hoped to obtain the same result by 
promoting dissension, setting seculars and regulars at variance, 
banishing the more independent of the clergy and paralysing the 
church generally. The two policies often ran together but it will 
be more convenient to consider them apart. 

Though Charles was restored in 1660 the Cromwellian regime in 
Ireland continued. Except that Ormond and a few royalists filled 
the executive and that the episcopalian church was re-established 
there were few changes. Coote, Broghill, Clotworthy, and Mont- 
gomery, the most active spirits under the Commonwealth, became 
peers and took high office. The soldiers and adventurers remained 
in possession of the land ; the new settlers were undisturbed in 
the towns ; parliament was exclusively puritan ; the magistracy 
in great part so. Hence the persecution of the Catholic clergy 
unless at rare intervals, was carried on almost as actively as 
before, and it was still hoped to realize the ideal of Pym that not 
a priest should be left in Ireland. 

During the Commonwealth there was a parliamentary union 
of the two countries and the laws of England were held to be of 
force in Ireland. Accordingly priests found in the kingdom 


incurred under the English Act, 27 Eliz., c. 2, the penalties of 
high treason and might be put to death, and many in fact were. 
But now things having reverted to their former state there was 
no summary method of dealing with priests as such. To remedy 
this the Commons in April, 1663, transmitted to the English Council 
the heads of a bill subjecting Ireland to the entire English penal 
code. Through Catholic influence in the Council, the proposal was 
rejected and henceforward during the reign of Charles the pro- 
cedure was to charge the priests with treasonable conspiracy or 
with offences against the old statutes of -premunire. 

The government correspondence therefore is filled with stories 

of popish plots. A letter "dropped out of his mass-book" by 

Father James Dermot of Meath, urged his correspondent to keep 

his horses and arms for the time of doing good was at hand. 

Edward Farrell, parish priest of Clonbrony, did inform James 

Grant that on the night of 24th December, 1663, there was a plot to 

cut off all the Protestants and if they did miss the aforesaid night 

they were to perform it ere long. A "ship-load of priests about 

fifty" arriving in the West in June, 1663, confirmed Ormond's 

suspicions as to treasonable designs with Spain. Colonel McCaffrey 

deposed that representatives from different provinces met in a 

wood in Fermanagh to consult of a general rising against the 

Protestants. From the South, Orrery wrote that the Irish do much 

talk of the French and do rely on them. From the North, Lord 

Conway reported that the priests and friars and Irish gentry of 

Ulster had of late (July 1664) private meetings frequently in every 

county, signed a declaration and were arming themselves. The 

Catholic primate, Edmund O'Reilly, was presumably head of the 

conspiracy. Some of the informations sworn against him may 

therefore be given at length. 



Who saith that hee did often resort to the duelling house of 
Doctor Owin Mac Swine the papish titular bishop of Killmore 
on the mountain of Slewnerin to visit a kinsman of his named 
John Relie who is secretarie or clerk to the said titular bishop. 


That about the 24 day of June last the said John Relie at this 
Examinat's house at Agholein told this Examinat for a truthe 
that Edmund ORelie the popish titular Archbishop of Armagh 
sent lettres to the said popish titular bishop of Killmore whereby 
he signifyed that hee the said titular Archbishop was redy to 
come over into Ireland and (by the assistance of the King of 
Spaine and the pope) to bring with him into Ireland 15,000 men 
and that Phillip mac Hughe mac Shane Counelly O'Relye was 
to come from Flanders with the said titular archbishop and to 
bring with him 10,000 men more at or before Michaelmas next 
and that it was to bee done by contract and conditions made 
betwixt them and Lieut Generall Edmund Ludloe who (as the 
said John Rely tould this Examinat) hath undertaken a restoration 
to the popish clergie of all the spiritualities and temporalities 
and to the said Phillip mac Hugh of all his lands, and this 
Examinat saith that hee hath of late observed the popish 
clergie of Ulster to meete in great multitudes in remote places 
by night and by day on that designe as this Examinat con- 

21 July 1663. 


Hugh O 'Relie of Aghellyn, gentleman, adged 30 odd yeares or 
thereabouts deposed that on the 28 day of June last past Antonie 
Doghertie guardian of the ffriers in the countie of Tiroun, John 
mac Phillip mac Shane Bradie, Thomas M c Karnan, Terlagh 
O'Gowan, Thomas Murphie and other ffranciscan friers to the 
number of 15 assembled together at Ballebeath in the'baronie 
of Creemourne to contrive a way for the sending of John mac 
Phillip mac Shane Bradie a ffranciscan frier into Spaine or Rome 
to Edmund Garratt Reelie there primate in order to a deseign 
of leavying a warr Here in Ireland. They are raising of con- 
siderable sums of money in many counties of this kingdom 
being encouraged thereunto by the friers who have Indulgences 
for seaven yeares sent unto them by the Pope. He is creadiblie 
informed that they have akeadie in banke above 2500 li which 
is kept in the hands of Neale O'Gowen guardian of the friers in 
the convent of Carrickmermadderie. He further deposeth that 
Primate Reelie hath appoynted fower clergie men one fer each 
province in Ireland to be. his correspondents, counsellors, in- 
telligencers and advisers. The said Neale O'Gowan was appoyn- 
ted for the province of Ulster which was told to this Examinat 
by the said Neal they both being together drinking of a bottle 
of aqua vitae under a hill neare to Virginia. This Examinat 
goeing to speeke to his kinsman John O'Relie secretarie to 
Doctor Owen mac Swine titulare of Killmore in order of further 
discoveries found that the said John was sent poste by the said 
bishop with severall packetts of lettres to the ports of Ireland. 


Last of all he deposeth that Primate Reelie a few days before 
his departure out of this kingdom, in the house of Connor Reelie 
vttered thes enseuinge words, viz, that he hoped the King shall 
not rule or raindge long and for his own parte there was noe 
livinge for him here in Ireland for long as Ormond had any 
power heare. 

13 August 1663. 


Intelligence concerning the titular primate, 28 May 1663. 
Meeting with ffitz Symons last night who lately came out of the 
North where he left Prymatt Rely on whome he is to waite in or 
about Birr about the 15th of the next where the primate hath 
a meeteing with the Arch Bishop of Cassell, the Bishop of Meath 
and severall others and sayes that he knowes noe generall meeting 
any of their church has if nott with the seuerall bishops in their 
seuerall dioses. 


27 Feby 1664-5. 

Meeting yesterday with Dromgould who tould me he was sent 
for hither by Demsy to participate of instructions com by the 
last post from the Prymatt which are (as he tells me) requiring 
the said Demsy to picke out such persons that he thinckes fitt 
of the cleargie and to send two at least in each circuit in this 
kingdom where they may with most conveniency meet with the 
gentry of each County and to incurrage them to stick to their 
severall ingagements and if they should think the tyme too 
long for executing their designe that it is for to make their 
cause the surer and likewise to give direction to every parish 
priest to exhort their parishoners at their easter confessions to 
that purpose and enioyn every of them to an oath of seacresy. 
A note of such clergymen as are chosen for the severall circuits 
of Ireland. 

Burgett ffaling Connell and Barry. 

Bourk Rourck Brodin and ffrench. 

Rely Sail Nugent and Dohertie. 

Dempsey Dromgould Wesly and Plunckett. 


Bryan Rely of Dromory in the barony of Lullaghgarvie deposed 
that Major Owen McDonel Grome Brady tould this Examinant 
that the titular Primate Edmund Rely would procure aydes 
and did advise them to begin the rebellion before the aydes 
should come that they themselves might have the credit and repute 


of it and that the said Primate himself and the Earl of Tyrone, 

Colonel Brian Roe O'Neill, Colonel Philip McHugh ORely and 

others would come along with the said expected aydes from 

France and the said Primate had soe farr laboured in the matter 

as hee had prevailed with the Pope to excommunicate all persons 

of the Irish that are in France or Spaine or elsewhere beyond 

the seas that would not join in that designe. All those who 

joyned in this conspiracie weare to beginn to putt it in execution 

on the 11 day of this present June at night and that if they were 

redy the words agreed on weare Deus Omnipotens and that the 

words agreed on to signify their not being redy weare Vale 

Domine. The said titular Primate had from beyond seas written 

a letter to Dr. Daly to send Fr. Peter Walsh a ffranciscan friar 

a 100 pounds and that 3 score pounds thereof were sent to him 

accordingly, to the end that by the said Peter Walsh's meanes 

they might have intelligence of the Lord Lieutenant's proceedings. 

June 17 1666. 

It is scarcely necessary to say there was not a particle of truth 
in these informations. Neal O'Gowan was arrested by Sir Patrick 
Hamilton on a warrant dated 17th August, 1663, and in careful search 
no treasure could be found. Hugh Kelly, Lady Iveagh's chaplain, 
author of the supposed Declaration was subsequently captured 
but there was no corroboration of the story. As for the Primate 
himself, all this period he was reported to be engaged in inter- 
national intrigue, he was subsisting on the alms of French and 
Belgian bishops. But the informations and intelligences fulfilled 
their purpose. They cast upon the entire church the shadow of 
treason. All priests were constructive rebels and any assembly of 
the people for mass was conspiracy. The Lords Justices wrote to 
Secretary Nicholas, 12th December, 1660 : 

The popish priests appear here boldly and in large numbers, and 
though this is more penal in England than in Ireland yet as 
these men have always been incendiaries here we think it wise 
to secure them and prevent them from saying mass and preaching. 
We have therefore given order to secure them. Priests who, 
when out on bail, think themselves entitled to continue preaching 
we have ordered to be committed as they reflect scandal upon 
the King's government. 

To carry out these orders was not always an easy task. Captain 
Sharpies for instance wrote from Belturbet 19th October. 

Hearing of a convening of the Irish in the parish of Killeven and 
not positively knowing the place of the convention our party 


being divided five of them happened on the place where they 
were all met at mass and seeing the priest in vestments seized 
upon him. As they wanted force by reason of the rest not 
coming in, the priest was rescued by the multitude, their arms 
taken from the soldiers and they ill-treated and beaten with 
stones and clubs. Upon the return of the party we sent out 
another which brought in some men but the soldiers cannot 
positively swear to them. They can. however swear that the 
priest was one who was formerly taken by some of Major Moore's 
troop and let out by Captain Foster, High Sheriff of Monaghan 
upon bond not to officiate again as priest. 

Several Proclamations were issued. In one dated 12th Novem- 
ber, 1662, it is stated that these unlawful assemblies were still 
held in contempt of His Majesty's authority "popish masses being 
said even close to Dublin and popish jurisdiction attempted to 
be introduced," wherefore all judges, justices of peace, mayors 
and sub-sheriffs were to take prompt action to prevent such as- 
semblies and punish offenders. A few examples of the proceedings 
may be given. 

Cossen Sancky. 

There are two priests by name James fitz Garrald and Carue Carroll 
which doe dayly frequent this town and the parts adjacent 
and have of late at noone day said Masse in the middle of the 
towne severall times and are not content with that but goe about 
from house to house seduceing the people and with draweing 
them from the protestant Religion as I am able to make good 
against fitz Garrald. Nowe soe it is that on Sunday last I 
knoweing wheare they weare mett went with six men more in 
my company and found the said fitz Garrald at his devotion 
with a bout 500 more, and apprehending of him (though he 
was four times rescued from us) yett at last I brought him away 
and have taken security for his appearance on Saturday next 
before me to answer what shah* be obiected against him in his 
Maiesties behalfe. Nowe the cause that I did this is because I 
can nott get any of these proclamations heere that weare put 
forth by my Lord Lieut which doth direct people in my case 
what to do with such men when they are taken therefore pray 
direct me what I am to doe and if you see cause acquaint my 
brother Sir John Stephens with it and advise whether it may 
not be convenient to acquaint my Lord Deputie, truly if I doe 
earr as it is of Ignorance not of willfullnesse. Your answer 
heere vnto I pray let me have by the post in hast 

I rest your Lo vncle 
St. Johns 10 March 1662. WM. WELDON. 


The Humble Petition of James Tully sheweth, 
That your Petitioner on 26th of December last was taken for a 
priest in this Citty [Dublin] and comitted to the Marshallsy 
where he still continues prisoner to his greate damadge haveing 
noe manner of subsistence nor anie way to relieve himself. 
That your Grace may be pleased to give order for your Petitioner's 
enlardgment uppon baile or prescribe for him present subsistance 
whereby he may not perish in the Marshallsy. 
[Ordered] Petition to be considered at next Council meeting, 
3 Aug 1663. 

The humble Petition of Garrett Forstall and Thomas Herford 
poore priests &c. 

That your poore petitioners are close prisoners att Kilkenny this 
halfe a yeare past, being fyned the last assizes past for a supposed 
unlawfull assembly att. Callen on the 17th of March. And for 
that your distressed petitioners are very infirm in their health 
and soe poore as they are in noe way able to pay the said fynes 
imposed on them May it please your Grace to commiserate their 
condicon, they being alwaies deemed heretofor faithfull and 
loyall to his Maiestie. 
[Ordered] To be referred to next Council, 14 August 1663. 

The humble peticon of Anthony Stafford etc. 
Sheweth that your petitioner lyeth imprisoned in Wexford upon 
an information given in to Baron Povey late Justice of Assize 
for Leinster that he was one of those who met at an unlawful 
assembly whereas that meeting was noe other than the assembly 
of a few persons that were convened to pray to God for his 
Maiesties long and happy raigne over his dominions and his 
prosperous successe against his enemies. Yet your poore supliant 
who is an impotent person and while he was able sided allwayes 
in the late troubles with those who stuck to his Maiesties interest 
and while at liberty did procure some charity for the support 
of his aged mother, by the rule of court is fined in twenty marke 
and to finde bonds for his appearance at the next general Assizes 
to be held for this county. May it please etc. 
[Ordered] To apply himselfe to the Comrs for the reducement 
of fines. 29 April, 1665. 


I doe fynd that on the 24th of June last there was a meeting uppon 
the land of Keppagh in the Barony of Clanwilliam of above 
1000 persons, men, women and children att the first masse of 
one John English a young priest. The principal persons there 
were Theobald Butler of Bansigh, Edmund Butler late of Wooden 
town, John Butler late of Poulkery, Thomas Butler of Keppagh 


and David Gibbon of Killeelacheir all living within the same 
parish with divers others, whereof many espetially the principal 
gentlemen and their wiues dyned there. They say that att that 
meeting there were four English protestants whereof one Jones 
of Teperary. As to a meeting by a wood syde near fethard I 
can by noe meanes fynd that there was any such if not ment 
of those who conies to their parish priest every Sunday and other 
holy dayes. 


The Popish clergy are much alarmed by the apprehension of those 
priests in the County Cavan and we believe this poore kingdom 
will never be at quiett till they be all removed out of it. 

Besides the charge of treason-felony the priests were held 
responsible for the outlawed Irish gentlemen who under the name 
of Tories carried on guerilla warfare against the Cromwellian 
planters. Ormond complained to Lord Kingston, President of 
Connaught, 8th January, 1667, of "theextreme boldness andinsolence 
of the Tories" against whom he had taken various measures. "Yet 
now for a further means having reason to believe that the Popish 
clergy of the parts infested by them do rather animate and en- 
courage them than admonish them to the performance of their 
duty and loyalty to his Maiesty, we require your Lordship forth- 
with to arrest all the popish titular clergy of the parts infested by 
the Tories and commit them to prison." Kingston doubtless 
carried out his instructions for the Council Books show that similar 
methods were adopted in other parts of the country. 


16 JUNE 1668. 

We received your letter of the 10th instant concerning the appre- 
hending severall of the popish priests and fryers in your County, 
who are now prisoners in Downpatrick. We learn that those 
priests and fryers are less criminous in that particular (in respect 
of encouraging Tories) than popish priests and fryers in other 
counties. We require you to take orders that those priests and 
fryers as well those whom you did apprehend as those who uppon 
sumons came in (excepting Owen McConnell who came late out 
of Flanders and landed at Killbeggs the 8th of May last) be 
inlardged from their prison. As for the said Owen McConnell 
you are to cause him to be examined when he left this kingdom 
and went into foreign parts, what the occasions were of his return, 
whether himself or any other had any commission from the 


Pope or any other person, whether he brought letters into this 
kingdom and to whom and return said examinacon to the Lord 


Concerning your apprehending of severall popish priests and friars 
in the county of Antrim and now prisoners in the gaole of 
Carrickfergus, each priest and frier is to enter into bond in the 
sum of 100 to appear before the Lord Lieutenant and Council 
within ten days, and to be' then enlardged. 

It will be observed that occasionally orders were issued to 
release priests from gaol on their giving bail not to act contrary 
to the laws. These orders though issued by the highest authority 
were not always carried out. For instance a proclamation was 
made in 1661 that the priests in the several prisons throughout 
Ireland should be released on these terms, yet among the Treasury 
warrants of that year and the following are found such items as: 

Oliver Walsh Marshal of the City of Dublin for monies by him 
disbursed to two popish priests committed to his custody, at 
6^. per diem for each of them for 797 days by warrant dated 
14 of March 1662, 19 18 6. 

John Dalway Mayor of Carrickfergus to be by him issued to 'three 
popish priests now prisoners at Carrickfergus at 6^. per diem 
to each of them towards their relief, 6 August 1661 10 0. 

Captain Charles Twig for monies by him disbursed for the relief 
of the popish priests prisoners in Galway 4 October 1661, 10. 

And so on. 

How little in truth royal proclamations availed to prevent 
persecution may be judged from the following petition presented 
to the King in 1662. 

To the Kings most excellent Maiestie. 

The humble petition of the Romish Cleargiemen now prisoners in 
the seueral Provinces of Ireland. 

Humbly sheweth That notwithstanding your Maiesties happy 
restitution and your unparalleled clemency, mercy and those 
great acts of Grace and indempnity to all the people of your 
severall kingdomes of what profession or iudgment soever either 
as to faith or to Government or of what party or interest soeuer 
in the warres, your Maiesties poor subiectes the Catholic Cleargie 
of the Roman Communion in your kingdom of Ireland groane 
alwaies vnder a most vigorous persecution continued even to 
this daye euer since your Maiesties returne and with as greate 
rigour as of any time heretofore. Houses searched for them 


continually by guards of souldiers and when they are taken, 
dragged to prison euen out of their bedds of sicknesse euen 
poore aged decrepit men and even those of that cleargie who 
have on all occasions both att home in their own country and 
abroade in their exile constantly manifested in their carriadge 
very loyall hearts and very great affections and even a passionate 
zeale for your Maiesties interest and service and who have 
vppon that account (and for haveing therefore declared their 
conscience against the Lord Nuncio and against his party in 
the fatal differences of Ireland) suffered since very much vnkind- 
nesse from some of their owne communion or of their own brethren. 

That your petitioners are about three score in the severall pro- 
vinces and prisons of Ireland and that in some places they are 
denyed since your Maiesties restoration the poore allowance of 
foure pence a daye which the State formerly did allow and give 
them for necessary sustinance, many of your petitioners having 
been these many yeares in prison and some ever since the Parlia- 
ment forced that kingdome in the yeare 50. 

May it therefore please your Sacred Maiestie to looke on your 
most humble petitioners and to looke on them with such in- 
dulgent regard as either to think or make them worthy your 
Princely compassion and to lett the loyal affections and great 
sufferings of some of them for you, over ballance those fore past 
weaknesses or failings of others (whom yet affliction hath since 
corrected) that they all may bee through your Maiesties merci- 
full goodnesse and by your gracious command sett at libertie,. 
and they all will ever continue their vowes and prayers to God 
for your Maiesties happy and long raigne over your people in 
this earthly Empire of great Brittaine till you exchange itt for 
that which is prepared for you aboue the starres. 

So that the body of priests who on 3rd February, 1662. made the 
"remonstrance" or demonstration of loyalty to Charles, scarcely 
exaggerated the facts. 

Our dispersion into many foreign countries and the grievous per- 
secution of the remainders at home ; some and even these by 
dozens and scores and for many years many of them confined 
in the several public gaols, marshalseas and prisons in this 
kingdom, and not a few now of late to close restraint and new 
additions daily made, others flitting and roaming to hide them- 
selves in mountains, woods, bogs, rocks, in caves and horrid 
wildt messes and searched for day and night yea hunted like 
wild beasts. 

But harassed as the priests were from without a still more 
dangerous campaign was carried on within their own body. At 
the Restoration Edmond O'Reilly, the primate, Anthony Geoghegan. 


bishop of Meath and some others thought well to join in an address 
of congratulation to the King. Peter Walsh, a Franciscan, who 
was well known to Charles and had followed the court in exile 
was selected as the medium. But the bishops little reckoned with 
their man. For an address or "remonstrance" was presented in 
which instead of mere congratulation and loyalty, the clergy of 
Ireland were made to say that they were obliged to obey the King 

under pain of sin in all civil affairs "notwithstanding any power or 
pretention of the pope or see of Rome or any sentence of what 
kind soever given or to be given by the pope his predecessors or 
successors or by any authority spiritual or temporal derived from 
his see." In truth "the procurator of the Irish clergy" as he 
styled himself was in the pay of government and this address 
was but the first move in a well matured plan to raise the vexed 
question of temporals and spirituals and split the Irish church into 
warring factions. The fact has been long suspected but the Carte 
Papers put it beyond question. 


I was glad that such a test as that of a declaration subscribed at 
London by many of the clergy and laity was sett on foote which 
was the most proper way to distinguish betwixt them [the 
Romish clergie] and since it is most probable that one tyme 
or other his Matie will find it necessary to lessen the prodigious 
number of that clergie that dayly flock hither and are ordained 
heere I doe conceive that those who will not subscribe to that 
declaration (which noe understanding good subject will refuse) 
are fitted for a sharp proceeding to be held with them, by which 
meanes if it be seasonably taken in hand connivance and favour 
may be afforded to those that shall subscribe with more safety 
to the Government and with lesse scandall to the Protestants. 

Peter Walsh the principal instrument received the fixed salary 
of 100 a year from Ormond, a sum which would be equivalent 
to eight times that amount at present (a). Besides this he received 
for a considerable period the further sum of 200 yearly to sub- 
sidise as would appear, his supporters. 

(a) "I forgot to tell you that P. Walsh would call to you for .50 which 
I had ordered my Controller to putt into your Grace's hands for him, being 
unwilling to lett others know he was a pensioner" Ormond to Lord Chan- 
cellor Boyle,. 19th August, 1667. 


Monies received att severall times since May 1662 from my Lord 
Duke of Ormond by Father Peter Walsh to this present August 

Att several times and by several summes 

the sayd year 1662 receaved by me .... 300 

In the year '63 .... .... .... 300 

In the year '64 .... .... .... 320 

In thl year '65 by severall summes .... 105 

In all .... 1025 


The service which Walsh was prepared to give his masters 
was ample. His proposals briefly were : 

1. The superiors of the Roman Catholic clergy to be licensed by 
the King. No others to exercise " any jurisdiction or superiority 
(even purely spiritual' I meane) over any of his subiectes by 
virtue of any commission received from any community or 
superior beyond seas." Any clergy obeying persons not so 
licensed to be proceeded against with "due severitie." 

2. Two or three grave and learned men to summon once a year 
all the superiors of the priests and regulars "to examine their 
proceedings in what may relate to the Government in matters 
of doctrine or practice." 

3. Notice to be given of all ecclesiastical "assemblys or chapters, 
the day and the place in order that they should not be held 
without his Maiesties express allowance" and nothing finally 
determined therein until a copy of the proceedings be furnished 
to his Majisty (b). 

Holding such opinions one is little surprised at finding Walsh 
in close relations with the Protestant hierarchy. Boyle, arch- 
bishop of Dublin, writes to Ormond 6th July, 1664. 

Your Grace's particular commands have obliged me to a frequent 
converse with Peter Walsh whom I finde to be very zealous as 
to the English interest. The confinement of some priests and 

(b) Walsh to Ormond. No date. In the preamble he writes "I must 
confesse my Lord I was content to see under the hands and seales of the 
most inveterate heads of the disloyal part of the Cleargie a submissive appli- 
cation to his sacred Maiestie and to your Grace and to see them necessitated 
to make it by me whome for having formerly appeared against them in that 
manner I did in the fatal differences of our countrymen and for having un- 
alterably adhered to his Maiesties interest with all faith affection and zeale, 
they persecuted so long and represented at Rome with so much horror and 
in the general chapter of my Order held there and to all my superiors both 
at Madrid and in countries beyond seas, charging me in all those places 
with being suspected of heresy." 


friars here and the insolent carrage of Magee and Docharty 
[Franciscans] with their confederates acting by the authoritie 
of a foreign power doth necessitate my Lord Deputie to doe 
some thing at this time in order to both. The prisoners exam- 
inations are taken, and they in plaine terms refuse to subscribe 
the Remonstrance of Peter Walsh and I suppose my Lord Deputy 
may think it convenient to your Grace's presydent to disperse 
them into several! places of restraynt. For Magee and Docharty 
and others of that party that remayne about the country and 
diffuse theyre poysons in all places as they pass, it is thought 
a proclamation published against them will be the liklyest way 
to prevent there mischiefes. I had some discourse with Peter 
Walsh who not only thinks a proclamation the fittest and the 
softest way to doe the work but adviseth it as necessary. He 
believes that there is a great concurrence between the fanatique 
English and the Nuncio Irish to rayse disturbance amongst us. 
In fine I perceave plainly he is very suspitious that the Nuncio 
party amongst the clergy will in a short time carry the whole 
sway of that kingdom to the discouragement if not destruction 
of the loyal party of the Clergy if something be not done to 
discountenance them. 

The Franciscans who discarded Walsh received the particular 
attentions of the authorities. On llth June, 1664, the archbishop 
again wrote to Ormond. 

By the apprehension of some friars who were this day brought 
to town it is very probable that my Lord Deputy may discover 
the principall gang of those who have united themselves and 
declared against Peeter Walsh's protestation and who have 
designed the carrying on a forreign obedience in opposition 
thereunto. The persons now hi restraint are doubtless of that 
party. So much their papers evidence and I hope this lucky 
hit uppon theire first attempts will discourage them from any 
further progress in the like nature. 

The opposition to the Remonstrance being chiefly fostered by 
synods and chapter-meetings, these were carefully watched. The 
Protestant Primate writes 7th June, 1664, to Ormond. 

My Lord Deputy [Ossory] being informed that one Dennis Magee 
a ffranciscan ffryer of the North who is lately retourned from 
beyond the seas is now in his visitation through the kingdom, 
and intends to hould a general chapter very soone, uppon advice 
had with the Archbishop of Dublin is resolved to issue his warrant 
for apprehending him and one Antony Docharty, provinciall, 
who countenances much the other but the Archbishop will take 
the advice of the Council before his warrants issue. 


Again on the 6th of July he reported : 

When I came to the countie of Downe I found that there had been 
a great meeting of the popish cleargie two dayes before my coming 
thither but I could not get information what occasioned that 
confluence for privately it was carryed through. I was tould 
the most of them were druncke att night. I suppose that Dr. 
Daily vicar generall to the titular primate (to exercise his pre- 
tended and forrein juridsiction) had called them together which 
is a thing too vsuall with him and some others of that way. 

Accordingly, as the Archbishop of Dublin had suggested, a 
proclamation was issued : 

Whereas information hath been given unto us by divers gentlemen 
ond others of the Popish religion that several pretended chapters 
have been and are to be soon called in several parts of this kingdom 
and meetings appointed by persons disaffected to his Majesties 
Government who take opportunities from those assemblies to 
diffuse and spread abroad among the people of that Religion 
seditious doctrines etc, all are hereby cautioned and forewarned 
that none shall presume to assist, abett, or countenance them 
and those who were engaged therein shall upon their duty of 
allegiance to his Maiesty forbear any further proceedings. 

DUBLIN CASTLE 11 July 1664. 

All intimidation and bribery notwithstanding, only sixty-nine 
ecclesiastics could be got to sign the Remonstrance. The surrender 
however, of the theological faculty of the Sorbonne to the French 
Government in 1663, gave Walsh and his supporters new hopes. 
Father Maginn, the Queen's chaplain, visited Ormond at Kilkenny 
and undertook to win over his brother, the Dean of Dromore, 
Daly the vicar general of Armagh and others in the North. Further, 
the exiled bishops, beaten it was supposed, to the knees were making 
piteous appeals to Government for permission to return. The 
Primate himself who on account of his staunch opposition, had to 
fly the country, was now writing in terms in which self-respect 
even was wanting. 

May it please your Grace. 

I am the Publican standinge a f arre of and not daringe to lift upp 
mine eyes to the heavens and your Grace but knocking my 
breast humbly pray your Excellencie wilbe pleased to be favour- 
able to me and make me partaker of his Maiesties vnparalled 
mercies, promising in the sight of God and his Angells that I 
shall endeavour to comply in all pointes with his soueraign 


Maties most gracious will and your Excellencies comands as 
fair as shall become a true and faithfull subiect. If otherwise 
who am I, a worme not a man, the reproach of mankind, the vilitie 
of the people, a dead dogg and a flea yett my most gracious Lord 

Your Grace his most abject servant 
Paris 22 Oct 1665. EDMUNDE ARMAGH. 

Again he appeals to Captain Archer who had been set to 
watch the Irish in France. 

Paris the last October 1665 ' Noble Captaine. 

Heareing from Patrick Archer your kinsman that you are posted 

hence as I suppose for Ireland. I iudged it meete to comend 

vnto you mine owne case its this. I live in Paris these five 

months after being at Rome and in the way thether forward and 

backward about four years. Faine would I return to my country 

to be buried among my friendes I am next Januarie 68 yeares 

compleat and though I be not without offence I am never the 

lesse much calumniated, I would not or ever did subscribe to 

any violation of peace. At Waterford I vtterly denied before 

the Nuncio to putting hand to the breach of the peace concluded 

before that tune at Giginston neer the Naess, I was never at 

Jamestown though called thether, nor at any meeting which I 

understood intended any dissention, breach or tumult butt 

though I finde not me self guiltie of ought yett in this I am not 

iustified for he is the Lord that iudgeth me. My humble request 

is that you be pleased in charitie to comend me to his grace the 

Duke of Ormond Lord Lieut of Ireland to be mercifull to me 

to whom I will give if neede be good securitie for my demeanour, 

I pray forget me not as Pharao his cheefe cup bearer forgott 

Joseph in the prison. The rest is that I pray God direct you 

in all your waies. I am your humble servant for Capt Archer. 


So that there was still reason to suppose, as in the case of 
France, that if a body of the clergy were gathered together under 
the shadow of the civil power, a considerable number might be 
committed to the Remonstrance and the dissensions among them 
thereby embittered the more. Besides, their refusal to subscribe 
would be construed as disloyalty and afford a pretext for further 

(c) Orders were issued 18 March 1661 to arrest Primate Reilly, who 
seems to have escaped the country soon after. On 5 August 1662 Ormond 
wrote to the Earl of Middleton "Since my arrival here (in Dublin) I am 
informed that one Rely the Titular Primate of Ireland is or was lately at 
Ayre and that divers of his clergie went over to him. If your Lordship could 
gett him taken and safely sent over to receive his tryall for the villannys 
he did heere it would be very seasonable service and a great security to all 
honest men, for he is a fellow that knows by experience how to treat with 
fanatiques and all sorts of Rebells." 


persecution. In the event safe-conducts were granted to the 
exiled primate, and some forty of the bishops and clergy at home 
to meet in Dublin. The motives which actuated Ormond are 
disclosed in his correspondence with Clarendon the English Lord 


The meeting of the Irish clergie will be held heere in the beginning 
of the next week though it hath been upon the matter prohibited 
by letters from Cardinall Barberini and the internuncio at 
Brussells as a thing threatening much danger to the Catholique 
religion. The letters sent from them by a Dominican frier one 
Farrell I took yesterday from the titular Bishop of Ardagh and 
send you copies of them. They were not opened by him nor 
could I haue found them with him if he had not been willing 
enough though he would haue it otherwise believed. I am still 
hopefull good use may and will be made of this meeting if the 
zeale which is almost generall heere against popery and Irish 
will lett us make the best of it. 

I acknowledge it a greate and perhaps a bold negligence in me 
that I haue not acquainted the King with my correspondence 
with Primate Reyly in order to intelligence. In recompense 
whereof I promised him permission to end his dayes (which are 
not like to be many) peaceably in his owne country. By his 
coming I am confident there is no intention of invading this 
country. Another condition of his coming and receaving pro- 
tection is his subscribing to the Remonstrance which will not 
only make his return desperate but give much countenance to 
it and as much mortification to Rome as they can receive from 
anything in Ireland. Now I remember me I did some moneths 
since acquaint my Lord Arlington with my correspondence with 
hmi [Reilly] and propose him as a proper spye. But he thought 
500 a yeare (the rate he [Reilly] sett upon his service) too high 
and soe I admitted of his return, that is, promised to conive at it. 

The refusal of the bishops and clergy to sign the Remonstrance 
was therefore the signal for renewed persecution. Of the three 
bishops who attended the meeting the Primate O'Reilly and 
Plunket, bishop of Ardagh were forthwith put under arrest. Lynch, 
bishop of Kilfenora made his escape to France. 


The meeting of the Romish clergie heere is now dissolved but 
without their having subscribed to the Remonstrance or to 
anything of like force. The titular Primate is a jugler and seems 
to deny that he knew of any condition whereupon he was per- 
mitted to come over. My purpose is to send him back again, 


after some tyme in which it may be discerned whether he had 
not some worse purpose in his coming. During his stay which 
shall be in the towne he shall be under good watch if not under 
guard. I send you herewith Father Caron's letter to me sub- 
scribed by him a day or two before he dyed. He was carefull 
to have witnesses by from the time he despaired of recovering 
lest it should be reported he retracted any of his principles, 
which was noe unnecessary caution for even before his death it 
was so given out and he had tyme solemnly to disown in the 
presence of many. You know; whether he was to reckon upon 
the 100 he mentions in the postscript or noe (d). 


I have not seen what you write to Lord Arlington upon the meeting 
of the Irish clergy. I doe wish heartily you would pursue 
your own secrett instructions which I am sure I would doe if 
I were in your case, and begynne with expelling all the priests 
out of Ireland who refuse to subscribe the Declaration. If you 
consent to the least alteration you overthrow the whole and 
absolve all who stand obliged by their subscriptions. The 
primate in my opinion should not be sent away but made a very 
close prisoner and noe man suffered to come to him. It is yett 
in your power to keepe out and improve that schism which will 
contain much security to the kingdom. I am heartily sorry for 
poor Carron's death ; he was an honest man and it is an honest 
letter. I had directed 100 to be payd to him if he had been 
alive, it shall be payd as you shall direct. 


I make no scruple to proceeding with all severity to the expulsion 
of those Irish clergie who have not or shall not subscribe to the 
Declaration in the same sillables as it was first conceived, but 
if that be done without any mitigation or favour to the subscribers 
they will shortly reunite. Those who have been persuaded (not 
without hope of advantage by it) to subscribe will take absolu- 
tions for having done it, and those who shall disdaine that re- 
fraction will be exposed to scorn and persecution from the other 
party and be without that countenance which should support 
them. How far that countenance shall extend is what I would 
receive direction in, and it may not be without inconvenience 
to the King to give such warrant without the advice of his 
Council. The titular primate has some colour of a safe conduct 
but the conditions are palpably broken by him. He shall not 
have liberty enough to doe mischief nor yet to be gone. Caron's 

(d) ^Redmond Caron, O.S.F., was Walsh's principal supporter. Claren- 
don writes 13 December 1662 "Fr. Caron (of whom upon your commendation 
I take care here) desyrs me to recomend his poore friends to you. the man 
is sober and discreet and exceedingly abhorred by the papists." 


100 he left to pay debts and legacys as I think to Peter Walsh 
his distribution. 


Concerning your Catholiques, the matter hath not been yet debated 
amonge us so much as in private. I do not think a better method 
can be observed in that affayre then is I believe expressed in 
your instructions to prosequute the dissenters [i.e. non-sub- 
scribers] with severity till they are dryven out of the kingdom 
and not to prosequute or disturb the others in any degree. 

The "prosecution" therefore of the priests who refused to put 
their religion under state control, was carried on more actively 
than ever. The Carte correspondence abounds in details. A spy 
in the service of the Protestant archbishop of Armagh reports 
12 May 1667. 

As I came from Armagh on tuesday the 15th of October 1666 I 
lodged that night in my way to Dublin att the house of one 
George Blykes vppon the ffewes who being then absent, vppon 
some discourse with his wife (who is a Roman Catholique) we 
happened to speake concerning Dr. Dawry who she told me vsed 
i I to keepe his visitations at her house every yeare but that now 
Uhe kept it Dunleer and that vppon that day and that there was 
^some difference betwixt him and one Draycott a priest that 
lived at Tradagh concerning the jurisdiction of the county of 
Lowth. The next day being the 16th I travelled from thence 
to Droghedagh and in my way thither as I was passing through 
Cappocke I saw an. old man on horse backe and much company 
aboute him att an ale house doore in that towne and I asked 
the old man (whom I suspected to be a preist) whether the 
visitation was ended. He makeing noe reply being as I imagined 
exceeding in drinke, a young man on horse backe by him told 
me the visitation was done yesterday. I asked him where was 
the metropolitan he answered me he was not in this kingdome 
I then asked him where Dr. Dawly the vicar generall was, he 
answered at Dunleer in the way before me. After I came to 
Dunleer and lighted att one Peirce's house and came vnto a roome 
which they could scarce spare, being as I saw myself very full 
of company. Mr. Peirce the master of the house come in to 
the roome and I asked him what meant all that company, then 
he told me ther was a meeting of Dr. Dawly with several! of the 
Romish clergie to the number of 14 or 15 priests or there abouts, 
I asked him what they did there, he told me he knew not for 
they spoake nothing but Latine and he did not understand it. 
I then asked him who discharged the reckoning and his wife 
told me Dr. Dawly's servant payd her seaven and forty shillings 
yesternight and he payd her fifteen shillings that day and sayd 
they had few such dayes, I told her I supposed it was a visitation, 



she said she knew not but the high sheriffe dined there yesterday 
and kept his Court Leet at one Millers house over the way the 
same day but that he dined in a roome by himselfe and not 
with Dr. Dawly. 

From Kilkenny, Ormond's own city, came a list of the local 
Catholic establishments. 

St. Maryes parish 
in Backe Lane 

A convent of Franciscan Friers in St 

James street 

A popish .schoole neere the Friers. 
A convent of Augustin Friers. 
{ A convent of Dominicans. 
The Jesuits chappie, a masse house 
The Jesuits schoole house. 
Luke Archer's chappie a masse house 

Back Lane. 

St. Patrickes 

St. Kennys Parish 
St. John's Parish 

In St. Maty's parish 

At Richard Nolan's a masse house. 
A nother masse house neere the gate. 

f James Kevanagh a chappie a masse house 
\Pierce Purcells chappie or masse house 

JOne Lench teacheth a schoole at John 
I Shea's near Mr. Walter Lawlesse his house 

In the sd parish of St. Maryes one Mrs 
- Trennell & Mrs Cantwell keepes schooles 

Luke Archer Parish Priest of St Maryes 
James Kavenagh Priest of St Kennys 
Piers Purcell Priest of St Johns 
Peirce fforstal Priest of St Patrickes Parish 

The Dominicans received, it would appear, special attention. 
A note of the names of all the Dominican Priors of Ireland, 

Kilkenny Edmond Prender- 


Achaboe Patrick Dulehanty 
Athy Redmond Moore 

Mullingare Garratt Dillon 
Trime Gerratt Ferraill 

Longford Richard Maddin 


Limbrick John Burke 
Killmallock Henry Burgate 
Youghall Constantine Kyffe 
Cashell Patrick Henbery 
Lorha Thady Biragra 


Portumna Christopher Walsh 
Athenry Thomas Burke 
Galloway Nicholas Hallam 
Strade William Burke 
Irlare Domnick Phillbin 

Boresule William Burke 
Rathtranny Antony Henegan 
Sligoe Philia Connor 

Roscoman John Bern 



John Reynolds 
Clemens Bern 
James Crilly 
Thomas Mahun 

Suma 24 


The names of such Monasteries wherein Priors are not named at 
the present, 

Linster. Dublin, Naase, Arcloe, Rosse. 

Munster. Waterford Corck Gleanmire Tralee Clonmell 

Ulster. Carlingford Dery 

Conoght. Tuilsk. 

An intercepted letter of the Provincial, Father John O'Hart 
(who writes under the name of Harrison) throws some light on the 
proceedings against them. 

Copy of Harrison alias Hart's lettre to Clemens Berne : 
Yours beering date the 25th and last of May I received and con- 
sidering your office to be expired and that you have not numerus 
vocalium ad electionem requisitus therefore I send you the inclosed 
and desire you to send for Mr James and Mr Thomas and notify 
this to them. Gowrin is already assigned in Carlingford ut ibi sit 
numerus ternarius. I desire Mr Crolly to help you well, I know 
he may doe it. I have sent my postilla with six breviaries to 
the young men in those quarters. I am summoned to appeare 
here, my bonds being called uppon. The reason I was sent for 
and none else is that they intend to make me an example to 
terrify all the superiors of Ireland that they might condiscend 
to Peter Walsh his remonstrance. They beginn with me that in 
regard of our order excepting one they cannot gett any to signe 
or as much as to flatter with Peter Walsh and that wee have 
been all obedient to the Nuncio which is most odious. Now 
my adversaryes cast such aspersions uppon me and myne to 
make us odious, they envy our stedfastness and unanimitie soe 
farr that they doe worke to sow sedition among us Sed frustra. 
Our friends in London gives us very great comfort that this 
tendring will fall of itself very soone and they commend much our 
resolucon and suff ranees. Men are madd here Peter Walsh 
himself e beginning to be weary of his proceedings in regardeth 
that he seeth his own f aire promises to the nation to be frustrated 
that the nation is cast by this bill soe that ere long there will 
be noe accompt of his advice. 

Soon after we find the Provincial a prisoner in Dublin Castle , 
together with some of his colleagues Christopher Farr ell, for 
instance, who had been imprisoned for bringing over letters from 
Cardinal Barberini forbidding the Dublin meeting, and Redmond 
Moore who was specially obnoxious to Walsh (e). The latter died 

(e) "Such poore creatures as had not wherewithall to bribe him he 
(Walsh) persecuted so violently that one ffather Moore a Dominican died 
a prisoner" Peter Talbot's vindication by a Pastor of Dublin. 



after an imprisonment of three years. Besides those in the Castle 
there were some in other prisons. 

Council to John Weaver Esq 15 July 1668. 

You are to cause diligent search for Michael Shiele a Dominican 
frier who 'we are informed lives sometimes at his sister's house 
in Lisdark in the Kings Co. and cause him to be committed to 
the shire gaol until further notice. You are further to seize 
such papers etc. 

Keane Carroll "a poore Dominican fryer" petitions, 13 April 

That your poore suppliant vppon the 3rd day of September 1666 
was and hath been a prisoner, in the custodjr of the Sergeant-at- 
Armes where he remaineth in a most sad and deplorable manner 
haveing noe way to mainteine himselfe only what charitable 
Christians are seldome pleased to bestow on him, through meanes 
whereof your suppliant will undoubtedly perish if not by your 
Grace (at whose feete hee casteth himselfe prostrate for redresse) 
speedily relieved. And forasmuch as your supliant ever yet 
hath been a faithfull and loyal subject to his sacred Majestic 
King Charles the Second and to his predecessors and never acted 
anything prejudicial to the Crowne of England nor never guilty 
of that crime do deserve such tedious imprisonment. May it 
therefore please your Grace of your wonted mercy to order that 
your suppliant may be set at liberty, giveing good security that 
he shall be forthcoming whensoever called upon. 

The Franciscans were as little spared as the Dominicans 
though many of them supported Walsh. Ormond indeed showed 
some countenance. On 24 July 1665 he ordered the release of 
James Fitz Simons and Thomas Harold who had lain in prison 
since New Years Day 1663. But other msmbsrs of the govern- 
ment made no distinction. 


It is necessary the insolent folly of those Jesuits, priests and Fryars 
should be soe restrayned as to teach them modesty when they 
are well used and prevent the scandall the licence they take 
may give to sober Protestants. The Jesuit [Stritch] should be 
sent for and his Pasarole called for and as his carriage shall be 
found so deale with him by imprisonment in order to his banish- 
ment. As to the Fryars I think it will be best your Lordship 
send for Coppinger who will be found about Corke and demand 
of him whether those fryars be of the number of the subscribers, 
requiring from time to" time a list of their names. If he says 


they are not of that number your Lordship shall doe well to 
cause them to be seized on. If they are your Lordship is to 
require them to separate themselves for the present. If he says 
that some of them are and some of them are not subscribers, 
let him give you a list of those that are not and then it will be 
fitt to seize them all but afterwards to. set the subscribers at 
liberty and send the others to the nearest prisons. This dis- 
tinction will keep up the disunion between them and secure us 
one party among them. When it shall please God to send us 
peace wee may more securely determine how all of the Romish 
profession are to be dealt with. 


Your Lordship hath done well to seise upon the Friers in Bantry 
and it is fitt that you should deale with those of Quin of whom 
there is not one subscriber and also that you find out if possible 
the two Guardians and lay them fast or take good security for 
their forth coming. I am sorry my cousin Daniel O'Brien gets 
him not a better sort of chaplains. For those friars or priests 
lately landed, as they pretend, out of Spaine I wish they may 
be apprehended if possible and examined concerning the place 
they left, the reason of their coming hither, who are their friends 
etc. I wish you would give order in the ports of that province 
to suffer none who shall land out of forreign parts to be let pass 
till after the like examination. 


I am glad to find by your letter that Mulryan the friar is appre- 
hended and I doubt not he be secured either in gaole or any 
other way until it shall be resolved what course shall be taken 
with him, I. have sent directions to the high sheriff of Tipperary 
to make search for and apprehend Edmund Haghereen Edmund 
Walsh and John O'Magher and I desire that what evidence 
3^our Lordship can get against them and the rest may be sent 
to Clonmell against the next Assizes. 

Orrery bore no love for Ormond and it would seem from the 
following order in the Council Book, that he girded at the latter 
for conniving at friars in the Tippera^ Palatinate. 

To Richard Earl of Arran 26 September 1670. 

We are informed by the Earle of Orrery that in the suburbs of 
Cashell there are erected two convents of friers and considering 
that the place is within the Count}^ Palatine of Tipperary we 
doubt not your Lordshipp has power to suppress such buildings 
which if not seasonably prevented may grow into great eviUs 
but in case you have not power we upon notice shall supply that 


defect. It will be necessary that we bee informed by whom 
and when those convents were erected and the names of the 
proprietors of the lands wherein they are erected. 


When England was at peace with the Continent, and stories 
of popish treason could not be so easily concocted, recourse was 
had to the ancient statutes of Praemnnire. 



Having received information that severall popish recusents have 
lately severall times held numerous and unlawful assemblies in 
the town of Galway and that severall popish priests and Jesuits 
and others of the popish pretended clergy have and still doe 
openly .exercise forraine and ecclesiasticall jurisdiction to the 
great oppression of his Maiesties subjects. We require you to 
informe yourself of the names and qualities of such popish 
pretended clergie as usually resort to that town. 



We require your Lordshipp to use such meanes as you judge fitt 
for the apprehension of Daniel Kelly who seems to assume the 
place of titular popish vicar generall of the Diocese 9f Clorifert 
and he being apprehended be committed to safe custody in the 
shire gaole and cause such examination to be taken as shall be 
necessary for proofe of the matter contained in your letters of 
the 4 of June last. 


It seems Father Patrick's brother [Ronan Maginn, Dean of Dro- 
more], is fallen into inconveniency by his ignorant zeale and 
though I am persuaded his intentions weare good yet I will not 
say it can be safe to interrupt the course of justice in soe tender 
a case as that of exercising forraign jurisdiction, by any publique 
order in stop of prosecution. But if the King's atturney be 
verbally and privately ordered not to be over diligent I conceive 
there can come no hurt of it. 

More fortunate therefore than others, Maginn escaped. 

Priest hunting would appear to have ceased in a great measure 
with the departure of Ormond in 1669. His successor Lord Ber- 
keley would adopt neither the policy of persecution nor of intrigue. 
Hence the Catholic authorities were free to take their own course 
with Walsh and the other hired agitators. But Ormond stood by 
his old friends ; and henceforward for three years the quarrel of 


Remonstrants and Anti-Remonstrants was fought out at White- 
hall instead of Dublin. Before the new viceroy had left for Ireland 
Ormond made strong representations to Charles upon the "per- 
secution" which the Remonstrants were undergoing for their 
loyalty. Accordingly special instructions were issued to Berkeley. 

Whereas we are given to understand that since our calling the 
Duke of Ormond from the government there divers of the dis- 
affected party of the popish clergy are not only returned to that 
our kingdom but have beyond seas obtained titular dignities of 
archbishoprics and bishoprics with unlawful powers which they 
have presumed to exercise to the great discouragement of all 
or most of those who subscribed a remonstrance declaring the 
allegiance they bear to us, our pleasure is that you severely 
put in execution the laws against such titular archbishops bishops 
or vicars general as have cited, excommunicated or threatened 
any of those who in England or in Ireland have subscribed the 
said remonstrance, and that on all occasions you give protection 
to those who have subscribed and not retracted their subscription. 

Peter Talbot who had been appointed to the see of Dublin 
in 1669 took the leading part against the Remonstrants. All sorts 
of reports were made to government about him. One dated 
21 June 1670 runs, 

Heer was last Saturday a meeting of all the Catholique bushops 
of Ireland to regulate some disordres in their owne church. The 
principal grounds of their meeting wear thes to Publish the 
Popes inhibition to them to medil in anne temporal busines 
to take away the fast of wensday and the hole dayes not sutable 
to thes kept by that Church. On Saturda}' last Petter Talbot 
tould them he was apointed by the King to oversee all the clergie 
of Ireland. The Tetular Primat Pluncket desired to se the 
autorete, and that he would submit. The other said he had 
it not vnder the great seal. The Primat replied the letil [seal] 
would serve his turon and that in the intrim that he shewed 
this of the King's, he was to oversee him and would. They 
have gevin a Remonstrans to his Excellencie, it's the same the 
Clergie gave tre years agoe to my Lord Duke. Petter Talbot 
tucke occasion at this meeting to declare that my Lord Duke 
[of Ormond] had beene the ruine of the Catholicks and instanced 
seuerall things. I should thinke that to asperse such a minister 
as your father is, in such an assembly is penal and to assume 
that he is overseer of the Clergie heer by the King's autorete 
ought to be soe to. My Lord Liftenant is acquainted with all 
this and vere sensible of the Malis of this man's behaviour and 
will write to the King. 


Walsh and his followers appealed directly to the King. "Your 
petitioners" they stated "are estranged from the comfort and 
charitie of their friends and relations by reason of the violent 
persecution of Peter Talbot and others now exercising jurisdiction 
over your honest and peaceable subiectes" and having recited 
their grievances, conclude by petitioning that "by your gracious 
hand they may be rescued from those unsupportable afflictions." 
Talbot in defence wrote to Sir Ellis Leighton, Berkeley's secretary. 

TEMPLEOG 9 July 1670. 

Honoured Sir. I give you many thanks in having my letter 
delivered so safely to our friend. That foolish libel that Collonel 
Fitz Patrick kept so great a stirr about and wherein it was said 
that I excommunicated all Peter Walsh his adherents, was re- 
presented in England as a true solid piece. My friend [King 
Charles] desires that my Lord Lieutenant will certify vnto 
him and to my Lord Arlington whether I be such a disturber 
of the peace as that Paper sayes and Fitz Patrick writes. There- 
fore I beseeche you to speak to my Lord Lieutenant to doe me 
the justice as to signify whether I have not demeaned my selfe 
since his arrivall heere as peaceably and inoffensively as any 
other of my function. And for excommunicating I never as 
much as threatened it, butt to the contrary have hindered the 
Superiors of ffriars (who are exempt from the Bishop's juris- 
diction) from prosecuting some of their regulars with that vigour 
and censures which their scandalous lives deserve merely for 
feare of stirrs and noises notwithstanding that I knew Fitz 
Patrick doth countenance Coppinger and two or three more 
dissolute fryars against me, who are the only unquiet spiritts 
amongst us. I write the inclosed to arm my two friends that 
my Lord Lieutenant will certifie the truth according to their 
desire and my request, I should advise you and my Lord Lieuten- 
ant to beware of Fitz Patrick did I not feare you would thinke 
it proceeded from passion. I pray speak to his Excellency to 
certifie the truth by this post. 

Your faithfull servant 


Lord Berkeley's reply to Ormond's attack was equally effective. 


1 had whilst I was at the Curragh, a letter shewed to me from my 
Lord Arlington signifying in plaine tearmes that your Grace 
had informed his Maiestie in his Lordship's hearing that I had 
discountenanced those called remonstrators and countenanced 
their opposers, I shall take leave to say that the complaint of 


Peter Walsh though most true were very injurious to me ; 
because neither he nor any other in his behalf has made any 
the least address to me since I came hither. Secondly if 
Peter Talbot doth now exercise forraigne jurisdiction heere to- 
his prejudice and those of his way I am the least answerable 
for it of any man living, having declared to Peter Talbot at 
my coming to this place that if he should disturbe any man 
upon the account of their being Remonstrators (though upon 
other pretences) I would make him an example. For which and 
others of my plaine dealings with him he hath been much un- 
satisfyed with me ever since my arrivall. What he [Walsh] 
meanes by Peter Talbot and others I know not but wish they 
had been named that I might have the stricter eye over them. 
But what if all these reflections upon me be without ground ? 
I have great reason to believe they are soe, because my Lord 
Chancellor told me this day some of Mr. Walsh's way complain- 
ing to his Grace now three months since in generall terms, his 
Grace desired him to make proof of any one particular. Since 
which time he hath never heard from the Gentlemen. 

During Berkeley's administration it was in vain that Ormond 
and Walsh tried to stir up feuds, and kindle the fires of persecution. 

When Essex succeeded to the vice-roj/alty, there was every 
hope that the peace which the church had enjoyed for three years 
would continue. Archbishop Talbot was in London and on his 
return he brought to the new Lord Lieutenant the following letter 
of introduction. 


May it please your Excellencjr. The Gentleman that humbly 
presents this to your Excellency is the person I gave you a 
character of at Whyte hall. His integrity and loyaltie is well 
known to the King and the ministers who are sufficiently assured 
of his capacitie and willingness to assert his Maiesties interest. 
It was on that account and on no other that I presumed to 
recommend him to your Excellencie's favour. The reason I 
made bold to offer this trouble by his own conveyance is to the 
end he may have the more easy and speedie access in order to 
the honour of being personally known to your Excellencie, of 
which he must needs as he ought to be very ambitious. And 
since he together with the rest of his profession in the country 
resolves never to fayle in their loyaltie, affection and duty to 
the King our master, I hope your Excellencie will be pleased 
to entertain good and favourable thoughts of them and of their 
endeavour to serve his Maiestie, for whom they are and alwaies 
shall be free to sacrifice their lives. 



Mr Talbot acquainted me with your Excellencie's favourable re- 
ception of him upon my recommendation for which I return 
my most humble and thankfull acknowledgments accompanied 
with the assurance of my resolution to continue with the deepest 
respect imaginable. Yours etc. 

A year later we find Arlington, Secretary of State, introducing 

another bishop. 

* WHITEHALL Sept 16 1673. 

My Lord I write this to comply with a promise I made to the 
Titular Bishop of Clogher to write to your Excellency in his 
favour whom I saw once only after he had layne many months 
sick here in London, I knew him in Madrid a ffranciscan ffryer, 
much esteemed in his Order and no lesse in the Court by the 
ministers there ; and by his good offices to them, I found much 
helpe in his Maiestie's affaires entrusted then to my care and 
in all occasions he seemed to be full of loyalty and duty to the 
Crown of England. He is a man of good parts and understand- 
ing in the affairs of the world and this testimony I owe him 
that if he continue there, you may know him to make use of him 
and I shall be glad your Excellency will let him know I have 
recommended him to your favour, which is all the occasion of 
this, I am your Excellencies most faithfull and most humble 
servant ARLINGTON.' 

With this Dr. Tyrrell brought a second letter more laudatory 
if possible. But when it is stated the writer was Ormond one 
may be prepared for the crooked corrective which followed ten 

days later. 

CLARENDON HOUSE 27 Sept 1673. 

My Lord I have been impatient for an opportunity by some 
safe hand to send a letter after that I sent by the Titular Bishop 
of Clogher that you may know why I gave him such a letter. 
The man was of good credit in the Court of Spaine and had 
good accesse to, and countenance from the ministers of that 
kingdom. I found by good arguments he was no friend either 
to the Titular Primatt nor yet to Peter Talbot envying perhaps 
the preferring of the one to the Primacy, and [envying] the 
credit the other boasted he had in our Court, and I believe from 
this emulation and discord your Excellency might be the better 
informed (in a time of so much danger as I cannot chuse but 
suspect this to be) of any designe there may be to disturb the 
government especially by that party. Your Excellency being 
so well able to distinguish betwixt such intelligences as proceed 
from malice and those that bear a probability of truth, and I 
am further to inform your Excellency that he who carried my 


letter has the reputation of a man secret enough, and upon whose 
word it is not always necessary too much to rely but these are 
not characteristics peculiar to him amongst those of his function 
as experience has very abundantly thought me when I was in 
that government and had more to do with them than I hope 
your Excellency will ever find cause to have. ORMOND. 

By this time however, Essex had mastered the policy of dealing 
with the clergy which Ormond for twenty years had perfected 
and made his own. He replied, 

DUBLIN CASTLE Nov. 14, 1673. 

My Lord I have lately received two letters from your Grace 
both concerning the Titular Bishop of Clogher ; the first delivered 
by himself, the latter wherein you were pleased to discourse 
more freely concerning him was brought me by this gentleman 
Sir Bernard de Gomez. 'Tis a great advantage both to myself 
in particular and to his Majesties affairs in generall that your 
Grace is pleased to communicate with me so plainly the know- 
ledge you have of persons in this kingdom, and I desire you 
will continue this correspondence as often as there is anything 
necessary for me to know and that you have the opportunity 
of conveying it by a safe hand. 

The execution of the late address will I conceive put an end to 
all relating to these titular Bishops who now must quit the 
country and I hear they are all preparing to be gone, in obedience 
to it. One thing I have of difficulty lying upon me in this 
Article of the Address which I do not make known to any of 
my friends in England except your Grace, it is this, Soon after 
my coming hither, Moloon}? the titular bishop of Killaloe whom 
I look upon as the most dangerous (because the wisest) man of 
all the clergy made a composure of all the differences between 
their Primate and Peter Talbot ; as also the dissentions between 
Colonel Talbot and Collonel Fitzpatrick and had upon the matter 
well nigh made an union among them all, I soon found that if 
this proceeded I should have no intelligence of any of their practices 
or actions. I believe it to be one of the most important things 
I could do both for his Majesty's service and for the security of 
his Protestant subjects here either to keep those men divided 
or if they were united to break them again. I made some of 
their friers who alwaise have their little wrangles with the secular 
clergy, to set up faction against their Bishops and by encouraging 
their little annamosityes amongst themselves, I at length 
brought them to that pass that they openly accused one another 
of exercising ecclesiastical jurisdiction contrary to the laws of 
the land. Several examinations were taken and the Bishops 
brought to swear one against another, which have renewed their 
divisions to that degree as I believe they are now irreconcilable. 


By the address of the House of Commons all the regulars are to 
be banished and should I put this exactly in execution I must 
send all these poor friers abroad, who have done us this service 
and expose them to great severityes there ; indeed I believe 
some of them acted so far as they will certainly loose their lives 
should they be sent beyond seas. There are but very few not 
I am sure beyond six or eight who have been principally instru- 
mental in this affair ; and for these though I will not give them 
any publique protection yet my intention is to counive at them 
and give some gentleman in the country charge to take care 
that they be not troubled for doubtless in all these cases 'tis 
impossible but something must be understood to be left at the 
discression of a governor. Yours etc. ESSEX. 

Ormond again wrote 9 December 1673, 

It is without doubt needful that your Excellency and whoever 
governes for the King there should have good intelligence of 
the temper and designes of the severall partj^es there of whom 
there are none so numerous so agreeing in principles of religion 
or so unsatisfied with their condition as the Irish Papists and 
therefore your Excellency does most prudentry to continue 
such differences as arises amongst them in poynt of secular 
interests for to that all their contentions referre. When I had 
the honour to governe in that kingdom I found meanes . to 
devide them upon the subscription of a certaine Remonstrance 
declaring their fidelity to the King in temperalls in such termes 
and to that degree that was not agreeable to the pretences of 
the Pope. This Remonstrance with the countenance given to 
the subscribers and discountenance to the refusers got ground 
very fast ; but after I was recalled this cours was neglected if 
not inverted and the subscribers were exposed to the persecution 
of the refusers even in Ireland. If this test had been continued 
it would have made a more useful and reasonable distinction 
then that betwixt Regulars and Seculars, for, as many Regulars 
are well affected to the Government so divers Seculars are as 
dangerous to it. But it was not easy to make this understood 
in an English House of Commons nor was there time for it. 

The plan of dividing the Irish ecclesiastics into factions was** 
even carried a further stage. Before, they had been split into ' 
Remonstrants and Anti-Remonstrants ; now, some of the bishops 
themselves in their insensate distrust of Archbishop Talbot were 
got to give evidence of the exercise of foreign ecclesiastical juris- 
diction and thereby to bring down upon the whole body the storm of 
persecution. It is sad to find among the ecclesiastics overreached 
in this way, the saintly Archbishop Plunkett. A file of infor- 


mations in the London Record Office enables us to realise how Essex 
"brought the bishops to swear one against another." 

Though the efforts of Reynolds, Coppinger, Gernon and the 
other recalcitrant friars to curb the "exorbitances" of Archbishop 
Talbot, got little countenance from Berkeley, this did not prevent 
them from renewing the attack under his successor. At first 
they met with little success. But in February 1673 Lord Dungan 
of Castletown near Celbridge, committed one John Byrne a Domini- 
can of Kilcock to Naas jail charged with various misdemeanours. 
While in jail Byrne was visited by Sir Henry Ingoldesby one of 
the leaders of the " Protestant Interest" with the result that Byrne 
accused Dungan of being the mere instrument of Archbishop 
Talbot who had previously excommunicated him and laid the 
people of Kilcock under interdict for adhering to him. All this 
was too good not to be converted to political capital and so Lord 
O'Brien a great champion of "the country party" was instructed to 
bring the affair to the notice of the English Commons. Mean- 
while in the hope of putting out the threatened conflagration, John 
O'Moloney, bishop of Killaloe, interposed with Byrne. 

I have received your lengthy letter in which you try to prove 
your innocence, I wish you could persuade others as easily as 
me. I will do what I can to procure your liberty both with the 
Archbishop and Lord Dungan. Your case is more difficult than 
you think nor am I certain I can do for you what you wish, 
yet I will see that my help shall not be wanting. But I must 
warn you that a complete and unconditional submission is 
absolutely necessary and that you will retire from these parts 
to the place of obedience appointed by your superiors or else- 
where if you prefer it outside this province. We shall take 
care of your reputation as far as possible but you must surrender 
to another the business of me Order hitherto entrusted to you 
in these parts according to the command of the Superior or 
Provincial. If I can (which I do not expect) obtain better 
conditions for you I will gladly do so. Yet I give you a friendly 
warning to get out on whatever easy terms you can and not to 
plunge into litigation or danger. It is better to anticipate 
than to be anticipated and he who is wise only after the event 
(like most of our cloth) is wise too late. If you are a sensible 
man I have said enough. You will hear from me again for I 
hope to meet the Archbishop to-day on this business. 

In vain however did Moloney advise submission. Ingoldesby 


for his own reasons kept Byrne in jail for the Assizes. Towards 
the end of April the following petition was sent to Essex. 

The Humble Petition of John Byrne a Dominican ffriar etc. sheweth 
That Peter Talbot titular Archbishop of Dublin within the 
said city has severall times exercised publickly foreign jurisdiction 
and by virtue thereof publickly and privately slandered threatened 
and vexed those that for their constant affection to the Govern- 
ment should discover or censure his irregular proceedings, in 
which he likewise encouraged Patrick Plunkett titular bishop of 
Meath, with some of his priests to second him against the Peti- 
tioner who publickly opposed his violent proceedings, all this 
to the great distraction of the simple people who for their over 
much credulity to the like prelates or pastors of their souls 
think themselves bound in conscience to execute what they 
command them, notwithstanding what mischief they suffered 
upon the same score in the late rebellion. The premises con- 
sidered, may it please your Excellencjr for the preservation of 
the loyalty and peace of the ignorant people to oppose timely, 
things of so great consequence, and to that intent to nominate 
two or more Prot'estant justices who jointly or severally in Dublin 
and Meath may examine the abuses of the said Peter Talbot 
and his confederates in exercising foreign jurisdiction and raising 
yearly taxes by his priests from the people contrary to the laws, 
and that the truth of this may better appear that your 
Excellency's protection may be granted to the Petitioner and 
others concerned therein. 

Talbot on his part petitioned Essex to have the whole matter 
investigated before himself or before a Committee of the Privy 
Council that so, there would be less danger of forged evidence or 
suborned witnesses "it being notorious that the said Byrne and 
his confederate John Landy alias Reynolds are convicted of such 
infamous practices." Essex of course refused and on the 28th April 
in accordance with the prayer of Byrne, issued a commission to 
Sir Hans Hamilton, Sir George Rawdon and Dr. Topham to hold 
an enquiry and call before them the witnesses named by Byrne. 
Talbot in the last resort appeared in person before the Privy 
Council 5th May. Essex reports to Arlington 

Peter Talbot presented a petition to the Council whereof a copy 
is enclosed. The substance and almost the very words were 
contained in a petition he presented to me a few days before 
and I had answered that I would put the business in such a way 
of examination as I should think fit ; and that he might satisfy 
himself that neither he nor any other should have any injustice 


done them. Now his presenting this his second petition to the 
Council was looked upon them as a great contempt of me and 
in the nature of an appeal from the Lieutenant to the Board, 
and thereupon they all generally resolved to commit him, but 
I was willing enough to have his committment suspended so 
we only gave him a reprehension and dismissed him. 

Knowing Talbot's influence with the King, Essex took care to 
acquaint the Secretary in advance, with his proceedings. 

I have lately had a complaint from some Friers against Peter 
Talbot and though I am confident his ill usage of them and by 
my Lord Dungan's assistance his imprisonment of one, has 
provoked them to make this accusation yet the matters in it 
are of so high a nature as my duty obliges it not to pass it by 
without putting it into some way of examination, I give your 
Lordship this early notice because I know the skill of the person 
concerned [Talbot] and his intelligences in England how forward 
he will be to invent some lies upon this occasion. The substance 
of the complaint against Peter Talbot may be reduced to these 
3 particulars. 

First That he had exercised forraine ecclesiasticall jurisdiction in 
this kingdome. 

2ndly That he had pretended his Maiesties authoritie for the 
exercising of this his forraine ecclesiasticall jurisdiction. 

3rdly That he had leavied moneys upon the people. 

I have referred it to Sir Hans Hamilton Sir George Roydon and 
Dr. Topham to examine and give me an account of it wherein 
if anything shall be proved considerable I shall not faile of 
acquainting your Lordship with it. 

The Commissioners held their enquiry on several dates between 
the 5th and 12th May, 1673. They examined in all fourteen 
witnesses eleven ecclesiastics and three laymen. The ecclesiastics 
included six Dominicans, one Franciscan, the provincial of the 
Carmelites, one parish priest and two bishops. It may be well to 
begin with the evidence of the parish priest of Kilcock, Dennis Egan. 

Being demanded if he received any letters or orders from Talbot 
lately excommunicating Byrne or for interdicting the parishioners 
of Kilcock, he says about August last he received a letter from 
him commanding him to forbid the parishioners to hear Byrne's 
mass. This letter he by command read to Byrne at the Market 
Cross, divers others being present. Last September hs received 
the annexed instrument signed by the Vicars or Deputy Vicars 
General the contents whereof he published to some of the parish- 
ioners and showed it to others. Being demanded whether he 
had not forbidden the parishioners to hear his own mass or 


denied to christen their children he says he did forbid them and 
was commanded by his superiors to do so, because they did not 
obey the said interdict and that he had christened children but 
he had refused to admit some of the parishioners to be godfathers 
for the same reason of disobedience. 

The said Instrument. 

That the moderation of the Government in not prosecuting the 
Roman Catholic clergy for exercising their functions, might not 
be abused by our indiscretion in being too public therein, it was 
ordered by our spiritual superiors that those thought guilty of 
that fault should moderate their zeal so that the neighbouring 
Protestants might have no cause of complaint. The only 
person who did not comply with their orders is Byrne, Dominican 
prior of Kilcock who not content to travel up and down the 
country in his monastic habit, ceases not to blow his horn to 
assemble the people in his chapel there to mass and sermons, 
it being one of the greatest roads and markets of this kingdom. 
Complaint thereof being made he was commanded by the Roman 
Catholic Ordinaries of Dublin and Kildare to be more discreet 
and private, and he contemning these commands it was ordered 
that no people should be admitted to his mass or to any other 
in or within a quarter of a mile of Kilcock. He contemning this 
command also and continuing to blow his horn without any 
regard to the laws of the land or the canons of the Church, we, 
being concerned for the souls and peaceable behaviour of the 
Roman Catholics of the diocese of Kildare, which the said Byrne 
disturbs, declare that by his disobedience and his continuancy 
in his dangerous and damnable courses, he has separated himself 
from the communion of the Roman Catholic Church and therefore 
all members of the same Church are bound to shun his conversa- 
tion, and also that of those of whom he pretends to be superior 
and who live in his priory. Neither ought they to give him or 
them any alms but to look upon them as vagabonds or sturdy 
beggars, and all are bound to obey the justices or constables 
when their aid is required for apprehending or leading to prison 
the said Byrne if the magistrates think fit to punish his crimes. 
This we only declare and we do not intend to exercise any foreign 
jurisdiction contrary to the laws of the land but only advertise the 
Roman Catholics that Byrne's priestly character or religious 
profession can be no protection for his seditious and scandalous 
proceedings nor ought to deter them from helping the King's 
officers to apprehend or carry him to prison when legally required, 
12 August 1672. 


After Peter Walsh himself one of the principal antagonists of 

Dr. Talbot was John Reynolds. In the charges made against the 



archbishop during the vice-royalty of Berkeley, his name is 
constantly found. His evidence now in brief was 

On 8 September last at the Dominican Chapel in Bridge St., Dublin, 
Talbot in person declared friar John Byrne an excommunicated 
person as the deponent was informed, and 2 December last 
Talbot likewise declared the said excommunication at the Jesuit's 
Chapel Dublin as the deponent is likewise informed. Thursday 
or Friday before St. Martin's Day last Talbot in presence of the 
deponent and many other Romish clergy at a public assembly 
in Bridge Street, declared that Byrne was an excommunicated 
person and the question whether it was lawful for them to 
imprison him was resolved in the affirmative. The deponent 
and William Ash a Dominican friar were then employed by 
Talbot to Byrne with a warrant from Sir Maurice Eustace to 
show it to Byrne and to persuade him to depart from Kilcock 
otherwise the warrant should be put in execution. Last October 
at a public meeting of the Romish clergy at Bridge St. the 
deponent being present, Talbot publicly declared that he had an 
authority and power from the King over the Romish clergy of 
Ireland, to banish, punish and correct them, and the said Talbot 
wrote several letters to that purpose and particularly to Oliver 
Plunkett, titular Primate of Armagh, and to Constantine Keeffe, 
Provincial of the Dominicans. The first was shown and read 
to the deponent by the titular Bishop of Meath and was to that 
effect. Talbot commanded the deponent to write to the said 
Provincial to come to Dublin within ten days otherwise he would 
have him clapped up in prison by virtue of his said power from 
his Majesty. The deponent being at an assembly of the Romish 
clergy in Dublin, Talbot declared that a marriage then cele- 
brated by a Protestant minister betwixt two persons whereof 
one was a Roman Catholic and the other a Protestant viz. : 
Simon Luttrell and a daughter of Sir Thomas Newcomen was 
not lawful, and shortly after, as the deponent heard, the said 
parties were married again by Talbot. 

Some of these particulars were corroborated by the depositions 
of Edmund Wall, Edward Chamberlain and Michael Fullam, 
Dominicans of Dublin. But in the deposition of William Ash 
there is no mention of the supposed warrant from Sir Maurice 
Eustace for Byrne's arrest. The statement about the mixed 
marriage is supported by the evidence of Thomas Dillon, the 
Carmelite Provincial. Some further ' ' enormityes" of the archbishop 
are related by other witnesses. Christopher Farrell another 
Dominican "has heard that Talbot threatened to excommunicate 
also Dr. Anthony French at the Capucins Chapel in Dublin but knows 


not whether he was excommunicated." Further picturesque 
hearsay evidence was given by Ignatius Gernon a Franciscan. 

He had heard from Anthony Garland [Qy Gernon ?] a Franciscan 
that Talbot had threatened him and others that he would ex- 
communicate him if he would not leave Dublin, and that the 
said Anthony had lived at Dundalk for several years past by 
reason of the said Talbot 's prosecution against him. The 
deponent has heard that Valentine Cruise, John Read and 
Francis Coppinger have likewise been removed from Dublin 
by Talbot 's threats, and that Francis Coppinger was removed 
from being Provincial in this kingdom by the See of Rome, 
contrary to the customs of this kingdom which used to choose 
their own Provinciall and that the authority for removing 
Coppinger was sent into this kingdom to Talbot. 

Having made good the charge of exercising ecclesiastical 
jurisdiction, the Commissioners examined the bishops mainly on 
the two remaining counts against Talbot, viz. : levying money,- 
and usurping royal authority to control the clergy. It may be 
well to explain that in 1670 Colonel Richard Talbot, brother of the 
archbishop, was selected by the Irish nobility and gentry who were 
dispossessed by the Cromwellians, to plead their cause at White- 
hall. To add force to his arguments with the statesmen there, 
abundant money was needed, and so collections were organised in 
Ireland. The other point about exercising royal authority is not 
so clear. On 17th June, 1673, Essex writes to Arlington " I am con- 
fident if the truth were fully known (as I have some well grounded 
hints though not such as amount to proof) it would appear that 
father Patrick Maginn did write to Mr Peter Talbot as in your 
Lordship's name to encourage him to proceed in his exercise of 
ecclesiasticall jurisdiction, and upon this he founded his pretence 
of his Majestie's authority transmitted to him by some of the 
King's ministers/' But making all allowance for Essex's opportun- 
ities of knowing, the truth seems to be that Charles did authorise 
the action of Talbot. They were on the most intimate relations. 
Their private cypher may still be seen in the Bodleian, and when 
the storm came Talbot was too loyal a friend to disclose a warrant 
that would have made the unsteady throne of Charles, totter. 
This is confirmed by the fact that when seven months later he 
had to fly the country he carried with him to the continent 


commendatory letters from Charles and the Duke of York to the 
King of France (/). 


Asked what he knows of any foreign jurisdiction exercised by 
Peter Talbot, he says, he heard he excommunicated friar John 
Byrne of Kilcock, and he saw a letter from the said Talbot in 
his own hand directed to Dr. Patrick Plunkett titular Bishop 
of Meath, setting forth that he had declared Byrne excommuni- 
cated for not obeying an interdict on the inhabitants of Kilcock 
and desiring the said Patrick Plunkett to warn all the parish 
priests of the diocese of Meath to beware of the said friar as of 
an excommunicated person. Being demanded what he knew or 
had heard concerning the levying of moneys in Ireland for agency 
abroad on their behalf, he says, about Candlemas Term in 1671, 
being in Dublin he was called to a meeting by the said Talbot 
at the house of Captain now Sir Thomas Newcombe, at Oxman- 
town, where many of the Irish nobility and gentry were assembled 
of all the provinces except Ulster, but none of the clergy that 
he remembers, were present except Talbot and himself. There 
Talbot propounded that this Examinate should exact moneys 
from the clergy of Ulster for the agency of Colonel Talbot in 
England on behalf of the Roman Catholics of Ireland. This 
Examinate answered that he did not know before of any such 
meeting about that affair, and that he could not consent or 
conclude of any such matter, none of the said province being 
present, and he thought it dangerous for him to undertake the 
levying of money of the King's subjects without authority. 
Then it was further propounded by the Earl of Westmeath 
that those present should give a voluntary contribution. There- 
upon Talbot and this Examinate each said he would give 10. 
But this Examinate being informed the day after by George 
Plunkett priest in St. Thomas Street that that Talbot was 
levying the said 10 off his clergy and that he the said George, 
to the best of the Examinate's remembrance gave 20s. towards 
it and had also paid 20s. before to Talbot towards the agency 
of Mr. Netterville in England, and perceiving the said money 
was exacted from the clergy there, when Mr. Tuite being col- 
lector for the said money, came to demand his 10, he told him 
he would not pay any moneys till he had spoken with his clergy 
in the province of Armagh, as well as Talbot had done with his 
in Leinster. And afterwards this Examinate declined the 
payment thereof and neither received nor paid any part of it, 
nor did any other to his knowledge pay any part of it, but several 
of the gentry at the said meeting then promised payment towards 
the said agency, but this Examinate does not remember their 

(/) Hist. MSS. Report 10, Ap. v, 363. 


names or what they promised to pay except that Francis Barne- 
well promised 5. Lord Berkeley being then Lord Lieutenant, 
he went presently to him and acquainted him with the said 
meeting and passages there, which his Excellency said he had 
notice of already and advised him not to contribute anything 
towards the charges of any agency, which this Examinate 
observed accordingly and a day or two after went out of Dublin, 
and does not know what was acted there in the said affair after- 
wards. Being further demanded what he knows of Talbot's 
declaring to him and others of the clergy here of any power he 
had from his Majesty over them all or of his exercising thereof, 
he says in 1670, he himself summoned all the Roman Catholic 
Archbishops and Bishops to Dublin to declare their loyalty to 
his Majesty, where they met and drew up a remonstrance. 
And variance happening as to who should deliver it to his Ex- 
cellency after they had all signed it, and it had been agreed that 
Sir Nicholas Plunkett should present it, this displeasing Talbot 
he declared before the said bishops that he had authority from 
his Majesty to oversee and govern all the Roman clergy of 
Ireland. This Examinate answered that he desired to see the 
said authority under his Majesty's hand and seal or such a 
signification thereof from some of his ministers as should oblige 
his obedience thereunto. Which when Talbot could not or would 
not produce, he told him that neither he nor any of them was 
bound to obey him. Moreover Talbot wrote about eight months 
ago to the titular bishop of Meath declaring that Fr. Patrick 
Maginn had lately written to him by Lord Arlington's order to 
the purpose aforesaid, viz., that he should admonish or oversee 
the actions of all the Romish clergy of Ireland and give notice 
of such misdemeanours as he should observe in them to his 
Majesty's ministers to have offenders punished according to 
their demerits, and that having observed many things acted 
by the Romish Archbishop of Armagh fit to be corrected and 
particularly about changing a certain nickname viz. "Mac 
Ichy" (in English the son of a blind man) which Talbot said was 
now really become a sirname and was in the power only of the 
King and Parliament to alter, the said Archbishop should retract 
what he had done in prohibiting the custom of using such nick- 
names in families or else should be punished by his Majesty's 
ministers. Whereupon this Examinate being informed by the 
said Patrick Plunkett and others that Talbot had frequently 
given out he had such an authority over this Examinate and 
all the rest from his Majesty or his ministers and having got 
into his hands Talbot's said letter sent it over to Lord Philip 
Howard, Almoner to the Queen, to know whether Talbot had 
any such power as he pretends from his Majesty or any of his 
ministers. The Lord Almoner answered that no such power 
was given to Talbot from his Majesty or Lord Arlington or any 
other of his ministers 8 May 1673. 




On 17 June 1670 at a meeting of five or six Romish bishops 
at Mr. Reynold's house at the Bridgefoot, Dublin, Peter Talbot 
declared that he had authority from his Majesty of England to 
correct and punish all the Romish clergy of Ireland. Which 
being disapproved by some present and particularly by Oliver 
Plunkett titular Primate of Armagh who desired to see it, saying 
if it were so he would obey it, the said Talbot did not produce 
any such authority. Some few months after the said Talbot 
showed this Deponent a letter from Fr. Patrick Maginn im- 
porting that he, Talbot, was to correct the vices of the Romish 
clergy of Ireland, and that it was by the advice of Mr Secretary 
Arlington. A copy thereof was sent by the said Talbot to the 
said Oliver Plunkett by this Deponent's conveyance with a 
letter from the said Talbot to the same effect. Oliver Plunkett 
answered that he had sent him only a copy of a letter, and how 
authentic it was we did not know but would send into England, 
and as he should receive an answer, so he would demean himself. 
This Deponent has been informed that the Earl of Arlington 
has disowned that he ever gave any directions to the said Fr. 
Patrick to write any such letter. This deponent received a 
letter from the said Talbot intimating that friar John Byrne 
was de jure excommunicate for he had violated an interdict 
imposed by the Vicars General of Kildare on the town and 
inhabitants of Kilcock, and desired the deponent to send the 
same to his clergy to take notice of it and this Deponent accord- 
ingly sent copies to his clergy in the diocese of Meath but 
he, this Deponent, has neither the said letter nor a copy of it. 
12 May 1673. 

The previous March the English Commons in the full blast 
of Protestant frenzy demanded the expulsion of Talbot and the 
other bishops from Ireland. Charles gained time by referring the 
Commons' address to the Committee of Inspection. But any hope 
he had of shirking the issue was destroyed by the bundle of deposi- 
tions sent over by Essex. As parliament was re-assembling in 
October the English Council on 26th September sent the following 
instructions to Essex. 

In reference to the fourth Article [of the address] it is his Majesty's 
express pleasure and command that you by advice of the Privy 
Council there issue a proclamation commanding in particular 
Peter Talbot, pretended Archbishop of Dublin and ah 1 other 
titular Popish archbishops, bishops, vicars-general, abbots and 
all others exercising ecclesiastical jurisdiction by the Pope's 


authority forthwith to depart out of that kingdom, or otherwise 
that you cause them to be prosecuted according to law, and 
that all convents, seminaries and Popish schools be dissolved 
and suppressed and the regular priests commanded also to 
depart upon the like penalty. 

As this is the first of a long series of mandates to the Irish 
clergy to quit the country it may be given at full length. 

1673, October 27, Council Chamber, Dublin. 
Essex. We the Lord Lieutenant and Council according to his 
Majesty's commands signified unto us by the Lords of the most 
honourable Privy Council of England bearing date the 26 day 
of September, do in his Majesty's name straitly charge and 
command Peter Talbot, pretended Archbishop of Dublin, and 
all other titular Popish Archbishops, Bishops, Vicars General, 
Abbots and all others exercising ecclesiastical jurisdiction by 
any authority derived from the Pope or See of Rome in this 
kingdom and also all regular priests that they before the last 
day of December next depart out of this his Majesty's kingdom 
of Ireland upon pain of his Majesty's high displeasure and of 
such other pain and punishment as by law may be inflicted upon 

And for their better means to depart we hereby declare and publish 
that if any of the said titular Popish Archbishops, Bishops or 
other persons hereby commanded to depart out of this kingdom 
shall at any time before the said first day of December next 
resort to any port town and there declare to the chief magistrate 
or officer of the said town or port that he is a person included 
within this our proclamation, they shall suffer him or them 
quietly to depart and shall see them shipped and sent away for 
foreign parts. 

We expressly forbid and prohibit all and every his Majesty's sub- 
jects to receive harbour or relieve any of the said titular Popish 
Archbishops etc. after the time hereby limited for their departure. 

We further in his Majesty's name straitly charge and command 
all and every the mayors, justices of the peace, sheriffs, constables 
and all other his Majesty's good and loyal subjects that they 
and every of them from time to time from and after the first 
day of December next shall make diligent search and inquiry 
for and after all such titular Popish Archbishops etc. and upon 
the discovery of any such titular Popish Archbishops, etc,, or 
of any receiver or harbourer of them that they shall forthwith 
secure them and advise us the Lord Lieutenant and Council and 
take care the said persons be proceeded against according to 
the laws of this kingdom. 

Many of the proscribed clergy entered their names for trans- 
portation in the ports of Dublin, Cork, Galway, and Waterford, 


hoping in accordance with the second clause of the proclamation, 
to obtain protection and that meanwhile the storm would blow 
over. By the third week of December the mayors of the several 
towns began to report unexpected difficulties. 

Whereas several of the Popish clergie applied themselves to several 
of the chief magistrates of divers port Towns, declaring their 
readiness thence to be shipt away and whereas the masters and 
owners of shippes refused to receive them as passengers in their 
shippes. If such masters refuse to receive and transporte out 
of this kingdom such a competent number of said persons, you 
are to bind over such masters to appear at this Board. 

And whereas we are given to understand that some doubt is made 
whether secular Priests are within the intent of the Proclamation, 
we declare that such secular Priests who have not exercised 
ecclesiastical jurisdiction by any authoritie derived from the 
Pope or Sea of Rome are not to be included in the said Pro- 
clamation. 19 December 1673. 

Directed to the Mayors of Galway, Limerick, Cork, Waterford and 
the Sovereign of Ross. 

Even if the ship-owners and masters were willing it was a 
question if there was shipping enough in the country to transport 
the vast number of friars and other condemned ecclesiastics. Sir 
George Rawdon writes from Lisburn, 17th December. "I hear 
not of any priests transported nor is there shipping to carry them 
into foreign parts, so what his Excellency will do next I foresee not." 
His Excellency did the best he could in the circumstances pretend 
it was no affair of his to provide shipping. .So, on 31st December, 
1673, orders under the most stringest penalties were issued to the 
clergy registered in Dublin to quit the kingdom within fourteen 
days. A fortnight later it was reported to the Council that divers 
of the popish clergy were continuing about the port of Ross. 
Similar reports came from Galway, Limerick, Waterford and Cork. 
A further series of mandates was issued 12th January commanding 
them to depart before the 26th. Meanwhile some of the magistrates 
were showing activity. 

Sir Your letter concerning the apprehending James Marshall 
titular Deane of Raphoe and Marney McGolerick frier was com- 
municated to his Excellency and this Board. We well approve 
your diligence in that affaire and [they] command me to acquaint 
you that the Frier be continued in gaole till further order and 


for the titular Deane if he be a secular and hath not exercised 
ecclesiastical! jurisdiction then you enlarge him but if otherwise 
that he be continued in gaole, 20 December 1673. 
To Brazill Brooke etc. at Donegall. JOHN DAVY. 

Mr. Browne Your letter to my Lord Thomond concerning your 
so seasonable apprehending and committing ffrancis Connor 
the frier, was communicated to my Lord Lieutenant and Council. 
It is their pleasure the Assizes for the County Carloe being soe 
neare that you doe then and there present the said Connor, 
with good evidence for his so offending against the last pro- 
clamation against friers. 7 March 1674. 

Essex himself writing to an English correspondent 25th 
January, 1674, states, 

The Lord Mayor of this Citty [Dublin] brought me a list of about 
thirty or more priests and friers who had given their names to 
him as being in this town in order to their transportation, and 
there being a fleet of seven or eight merchantmen to goe for 
France I directed him to see them putt on board and sent away. 
All which he assures me is executed. 

This is probably the body described by Ingoldsby in a letter 
to Lord O'Brien 26th January, 1674. "A pretty large pack of 
bishops and friars have been shipped from hence lately, amongst 
them your friend Mullony." Yet two months later, after much 
grinding there was little wheat, and Essex sent over one Mr. Harbord 
to explain to the English Council that the bishops and friars could 
not be put out by "fair and legal means." Instructions were 
returned to use all such ways as his lordship should think best. 
Accordingly a fresh proclamation with more stringent penalties 
was issued April 27th. 

His Majestic is informed that notwithstanding the proclamation, 
the titular Popish Archbishops, Bishops and others or diverse 
of them refusing to give obedience thereunto, do remaine still 
in his Majestie's kingdom, concealing themselves in contempt 
of his authority and of the laws Wherefore etc. 

But between those who were hiding and those who were in 
the ports freely offering themselves for transportation the Council 
was sorely perplexed. 

Mr. Constable the Mayor of Galwey intimating that severall to 
the number of forty of the popish clergie in that town com- 
manded by the late Proclamation to depart the kingdom, were 


willing in conformitie thereunto to transport themselves in a 
shipp then in that harbour but that Linch the Master or Owner 
thereof would not undertake their freight under forty shillings 
for each of them, which the said friers and soe foorth pretended 
they were not able to raise. Wherefore the Mayor prayed his 
Excellence's directions. 

Ordered that it be signified to the Mayor that the said persons are 
at their transport themselves. 18 May 1674. 

Even when the friars and priests were secure on board ship 
and clear of port their transportation was by no means certain. 
For the Lord Lieutenant writes 25th January, 1674. 

We still find new inventions of these priests to evade the execution 
of the Proclamation. As particularly from Ross I hear that 
several friers being there putt on board some shipps in order 
to their transportation into forrein parts were by the Owners 
of the ships sett on shoar within ten miles of the place, for which 
these Owners are like to answer at their returne. And truly 
I perceive plainly that unless his Maiestie send some ships or 
orders to hire them here on purpose to transport these people 
we shall not be able to gett the country cleared of them. 

The English Commons resolving themselves into a Committee 
on Ireland, 18th and 20th February, took a full survey of the 
Catholic enemy there. As usual the attack was led by recreant 
Irishmen Lord Arran, Ormond's second son, and Lord O'Brien, 
heir to the Earl of Thomond. The latter was the orator of the 
occasion, and memoranda of his speeches may still be seen, scribbled,, 
blotted and re-written, among the Irish papers in the London 
Record Office. A selection of these may here be given but they 
must of course be read with caution. 

People in Ireland 1,100,000, three eights Protestant. Above 4000 
Romaish Clergy, 500 Protestant. Romish Archbishops, Bishops 
and Dignatories have beside their dues at home, abbys or such 
like endowments in France. The clergy and lawyers generally 
bred up there of late years since that Monarch swelled so high. 
Colleges endowed there for them. All the youth almost of 
that kingdom (I say the Papists) 'sent over into France where' 

they are bred up to the Church, Law or Sword the 

French King keeps above 2000 youth always in colleges for 
divinity and law and has now for the most part in his service 
all those whose estates were forfeited. 

Quaere what's the danger now more than formerly ? 

Visitations, confirmations etc. most frequent, 2000 or 3000 at 
a meeting. Fifteen year ago not a mass said openly in the 


kingdom, now it's common. Above 30000 [Protestants] returned 
to mass. Any who had married [Cromwellian] soldiers, carried 
husbands and consequently the children with them. 
Common papists depend on the priests, they on the bishops and 
superiors and they of late years wholly on the ministers of fforayne 
princes but especially France where they have great endowments. 
Mass flourishes but since 13 or 14 yeares past. For there was 
not a public mass anywhere. Now 500, 1000 or 1500 masses 

After this overture he proceeded to give minute statistics after 
the fashion made popular by Sir William Petty. 

Seculars .... .... .... 1600 

Grey Friars .... .... 2600 

Black Friars.... .... .... 600 

Jesuits .... .... .... 25 

Capuchins .... .... .... 16 

Archbishops .... .... 4 

Bishops .... .... .... 24 

Seminaries abroad .... .... 2500 


1. There are 2,278 parishes in Ireland and in each, one with another, 
above 100 persons that go to confession once a year at least. 
None is admitted by the priest to confess before he pays his 3d., 
and many 6d., 12d., or more. But reckoning but 3d., which 
the priest demands as his due it amounts in every parish to 

. 1 5s., which in the 2,278 parishes is 2,847 10s. 

2. Those that go to confession and no others are admitted to the 
Sacrament, which being a duty they much covet to perform, it 
must be concluded that as many as confessed viz., 100, so many 
received. He that offers least pays 12d., which amounts one 
with another to 11,390. 

3. There are 80 Sundays and holidays in which the priest says 
mass for which he demands and receives from all the communi- 
cants 4 patricks, which makes 2d. English. This from 100 
persons amounts to 16s. 8d. per week and from every parish per 
annum 66 13s. 4d. which from 2,278 parishes is 151,866 13s. 4d. 

4. Committations (as they term it) of penance for perjury, for- 
nication adultery and incest, which is among the vulgar most 
horridly practised, the bishop has from every one thus offending 
10s, and if but two be reckoned for in a parish, though it's free- 
quent to have half a score, it amounts in the 2,278 parishes to 

5. For every christening, wedding and burial the mass priest has 
2s. Allow but 10 per annum to each parish, it amounts to 


6. Let the party that dies be never so mean it is the custom for 
the people, not only of the same parish, but those adjacent, 
to come to the burial and every one that comes pays 3d. at least 
to the priest as an offering and many 6d. and others 12d. It's 
very rare but at every burial there 200 or more appear, nay at 
many, one two or three thousand, and yet allowing but 200 
and those at 3d. per head and that in every parish there are 4 
burials per annum this amounts to 10 in each, and in the 2,278 
to 22,780. 

Having scared the vision of the faithful Commons by this 
financial bugbear, Lord O'Brien sketched his plan of dealing with 
the priests. 

1. There being but 500 ministers in Ireland, the like number of 
priests (and those seculars) to be allowed and no more. 

2. That these be registered in every county and appear at every 
Easter sessions for their county and take out a license or pro- 
tection sealed with the public seal of the county in open Court 
betwixt 10 and 12 in the morning. 

3. Registered priests to wear a particular habit. 

4. That fixed places be appointed to each priest for holding his 
conventicles, and that none of them presume to go above five 
miles from the place where he officiates without leave first obtained 
under the hands and seals of five Justices of that county. 

5. That since the proclamation of 27 October last has not proved 
effectual for banishing the Romish bishops and regulars, it be 
considered how to provide for the more speedy clearing that 
kingdom of them and of all others not licensed as aforesaid. 

Death to any [priest] proved by two witnesses to endeavour the 
perverting any Protestants. 

All this to be put in execution this next Easter sessions and a 
proclamation to give notice of this forthwith and also to command 
all others of the clergy [i.e. unlicensed] to repair between this 
and first May next to some fixed places shipping to be provided 
to carry them where they desire or you appoint. Death to any 
that obey not, or that return again. 

Essex, who had to face practical realities, laughed such pro- 
posals as these down the wind. 


We have of late from severall of the Justices of Peace of this kingdom 
received an account that they have apprehended severall friers 
and priests who in contempt of the proclamation presumed to 
stay longer than the time therein limited. 

As for the banishing of the bishops and friers together with all 
such as have exercised ecclesiastical jurisdiction, whatever may 


be apprehended at a distance, I am confident it is so far from 
causing a discontent even among the Papists themselves, I am 
sure that they are rather glad of it, these being a great burthen 
to them in the collections of money which were being perpetually 
made for their support. But should it be resolved to use the 
like measure with all the seculars I am not without apprehensions 
what the consequence thereof might be, there being severall 
hundred thousands of the popish religion in this kingdom and 
should any such thing be thought on, it were fitt the King had 
a standing army of at least fifteen or twenty thousand men 
in constant pay and upon duty. For I would be loath to be 
answerable for the peace with a less force in case I were putt 
upon the execution of such orders. 

But the hunting of the regulars and the higher ecclesiastics 
was actively continued throughout the years 1674-5. Peter Walsh 
from the safe shelter provided for him by Ormond in England 
appealed to the Lord Lieutenant in behalf of his brethren. 

My Lord. I am my selfe one of those Regular and unalterable 
subscribers and have now endured so much on that account 
that custom of suffering may be thought to have taken from 
me the sense of it. But I cannot reflect upon the deplorable 

condition of my friends without tears of grief e, that a few. men 
of loyalty approved by the very best of all tryals, Persecution, 
should for no other reason than for being Regular Priests, should 
by the Royal Authority, for maintenance whereof they have 
suffered so long, be thought unworthy to breathe the aire of 
their native country and be excluded even from that freedom 
which at least 1200 of their Anti Remonstrant opposers are 
permitted to enjoy. Truly the condition of these men is very 
hard. If they disobey the Proclamation, besides the hazard 
they run from the Laws, they must starve. For they cannot 
find shelter amongst their nearest relations, whether the tender- 
ness of nature be overawed by the penalties mentioned in the 
Proclamation, or hardened by the practices of their perpetual 
antagonists. If they obey, they give themselves up to the 
cruel mercy of their Irish adversaries and Papalin Zealots in 
foreign countries while in the mean time such vast numbers of 
those Ecclesiastics who have wrought their woe, are protected 
and cherished by that same Royal Authority which they refused 
to own any farther or longer than it should please the Pope. 

Essex not paying much attention, Walsh next addressed one 
of the leaders of the English Commons "humbly to request your 
honour to lend your favourable attendance at the Committee of 



Praying that your honour may not think it not unbecoming your 
particular care and compassion of afflicted innocents, to repre- 
sent effectually both to the House of Commons itself and the 
Committee of Religion, the special case of those few unfortunate 
Irish Churchmen, those men of sorrow indeed, who suffer so 
extreamly in their Church for being loyal Remonstrants and 
yet from the State for being Regular Priests. For, relieving of 
such sufferers is fit for such a great person as you and makes 
you truly so. Certainly there is no greater participation of the 
Divinity in this life or hopes of it in the next than by doing good. 

The following is a further illustration of the Lord Lieutenant's 


I received a letter of May 12 from Mr Harbord, wherein he told 
me there was a strong report about town of a priest which I 
had caused to be taken by soldiers out of my Lord of West- 
meath's house, I must observe to you that no noblemen are by 
the proclamation debarred their chapleins in their houses ; 
they may keep any of 'the secular clergy provided they have 
never exercised ecclesiasticall jurisdiction. Why these noble- 
men cannot content themselves with any other chapleins than 
such as are banished persons, I cannot well understand. 

There came a gentleman to me about the end of January or be- 
ginning of February last and acquainted me that one Oliver 
Dease, Titular Vicar General of Meath, and one Reilly a frier 
were often seen in the County of Westmeath in contempt of the 
Proclamation. Dease did harbour himself at the Earl of West- 
meath's house, and Reilly at another Gentleman's house near 
there. That he was sure that if diligent search were made at 
those two houses, at one or other both would be taken, I then 
said I would give orders to some of the Justices of the Peace 
to look after it. Whereupon this gentleman told me that I 
would faile of my endeavours if I went that way to worke, for 
that the country thereabouts being most of them papists and 
very watchfull about their priests, the Constables could not be 
stirring anywhere there, nor indeed get help to them but they 
would be betrayed. Hereupon I ordered a party of souldiers 
to perform this service, a thing in ah 1 times not unusual in this' 
kingdom in cases of the like nature. Now I would faine know 
whether I should slight this Information and thereby leave 
myself at this Informer's mercy to be accused at the next sitting 
of the Parliament. This Dease is a very able, shrewd man, 
and one who manageth the whole business of the Popish interest 
in the two or three countyes thereabout, and they would faine 
keepe him here. I have also had applications from severall 


of the noblemen to dispense with their chapleins but doe find 
that should I gratify them in this, all the tumultuous dangerous 
priests would by that means be harboured in these noblemens' 
houses, and not a mischiefous fellow would ever be sent away. 

There was one high-placed ecclesiastic whom Essex was un- 
willing to run to earth Primate Plunkett. He had rendered good 
service against the Tories and his action in the Talbot case could 
not be ignored. In the proclamation banishing the clergy it was 
asked that he be exempted by special proviso. 


Here is one Oliver Plunket the Romish titular Primate of this 
kingdom who seems to be one of the best men of his persuasion 
I have mett with, and though I doubt not but he is industrious 
enough in promoting his own religion yet I could never finde 
but he was of a more peaceable temper and more conformable 
to the government then any of their Titular bishops in this 
country. I know not well what proceedings may be in parlia- 
ment in relation to us here, or how far the matter of religion 
may be concerned in it, this only I shall say that in case any 
debates should arise by way of discriminating of persons and 
putting banishments or other punishments upon particulars I 
should be glad for the reasons above-mentioned you would 
yourselfe and some of our friends secure this Gentleman from 
any such severitie which should be singly and personally in- 
flicted on him. 

Though like the others he had to go into hiding during the 
earlier months of the persecution, it does not appear from the 
records that any determined attempts were made to capture him. 
On the contrary his remaining in the country was rather connived 
at. In the absence of Essex in England during the latter half 
of the year 1675, Archbishop Boyle, the Chancellor, and Sir Arthur 
Forbes acted as Lords Justices. Boyle's secretary, Beecher, 
writes to Essex in October 1675. 

My Lord Chancellor gave me enclosed, directed to himself. He 
said he was in dispute with himself what to doe therein, for 
either the person that wrote it was a crazed man or else it might 
be one of the discontented of their clergy, through whose pickes 
[piques] something might redound to public benefit. But yet 
he was not willing to be very strict in the inquiries after these 
persons named in the letter in regard he did believe they might 
be connived at for reasons of state. However a messenger was 


sent to make search for those persons in that place but noe such 
was found. The person that writes the said letter concealing 
his true name and place of abode, he could no further proceed 
and therefore was apprehensive it might not be a Roman Catholick 
but some other that might have a design to lay a fund for a 
clamour against himself [the Chancellor] for not taking notice 
of such intelligence. 


8 br - 1675. 

My Lord Your Excellencie being Lord Deputie of Ireland together 
with Sir Arthur Forbiss Being engaged in conscience not to 
conceal anything prejudicial! to his Maiestie, after mature 
deliberatun I thought it lawfull to acquaint your Excellencie 
of the subsequent About the 8 of September there was a Packet 
sent from the Pope of Rome to the pretended Lord Primate of 
Ireland one Plunkett and another to the old Bishop Plunkett. 
They both together live at the Innes in Sir Nicholas Plunkett's. 
He that brought the Packett was one Thomas Kerry and the 
superscription was to one Thomas Cockes (so they call the said 
Plunkett). Whether they be any hurt or harm in this Packett 
I cannot tell but know it is from a forraine power and against 
the law. If your Grace be pleased to inquire after it, putting 
these two Bishopps to their Oaths I warrant that they will not 
conceale it. If I see your Grace in earnest after this business 
I will declare more of other persons that keep the same corres- 
pondency, but them two being the Capital! heades they are 
most concerned. Unless your Grace prevent you shall repent, 
few words to a noble witte. 
To his Grace Mich 1 - Boyle etc. GABRIELL JOHNSON. 

I live in the Irish Quarters and am so well friended that I 
dare not discover where I am for feare of any accident ; but I 
assure your Grace unless you have a great care of this my infor- 
mation his Maiestie must know of it. 

In the following information we have the first appearance of 
the man who more than any other helped a little later to bring the 
Primate to the scaffold. 



Who being duly sworn on the Holy Evangelists saith that 
about October 1672 this Examinate and one ffather Thomas 
Crawley coming from Rome towards Ireland, at Marsellis they 
mett one Thomas Plunkett and one Neall O Neill going from 
Ireland towards Rome and falling in company with them in the 
chamber of the said Plunkett and Neill (the last being off the 


same countrie in Ireland with the Examinate and the said 
Crawley), he told them that he the said Neill and Plunkett had 
a letter from Doctor Plunkett Titular primate of Ireland directed 
to Seignior Boldeskie who was Secretarie to the Societie de 
propaganda ffide which letter they (sic) showed to the said 
Crawley and to this Examinate, and the said Crawley supposing 
it to be a letter recommending of the said Plunkett and Neill 
to the said Secretarie opened the letter to enable him the better 
to advise the said Plunkett and Neill how to make their appli- 
cationes to the said Boldeskie and others the ministers of the 
Court of Rome, and having opened it they found the contents 
of it to be as followeth viz. : That the said Doctor Plunkett being 
sent over to this kingdom as Primate had (he thanked God) 
good success in his undertaking in this kingdom of Ireland for 
that he had kept a Provinciall Council in his Province and 
had erected a school for educating youth and had alsoe insinuated 
himselfe into the good opinion of severall of the Lords and of 
other persons off qualitie in Ireland soe as he had a freedome 
and intimacie with them. 

That he heard that a warre was then beginning between the Catholic 
princes abroade which he desired might by all means be prevented, 
ffor that in that warre they shedd Catholicke blood and did not 
thereby propagate the faith but if the Court of Rome should 
soe order the affaire as to reconcile the said princes and that they 
or some of them would be prevailed with to send an army for 
Ireland, they might have good success in it and thereby propagate 
the faith to the advantage of the Romish Church and therefore 
prayed the said Secretarie to employe his Interest with the 
Archbishop of Aixe being a Cardinall of the French party to 
persuade the French King to a peace and to the sending his 
arms to this kingdom in which he the said Doctor Plunkett 
wold be an usefull Instrument, having already by his owne 
travelling through the kingdom or by the Information of others 
by him employed, enabled himself to give an account of all 
forts, castles and strongholds of this kingdom and of the wayes 
of taking or surprising of them as alsoe of all persons of qualitie 
who would be usefull Instruments to helpe to carry on the 
warre, there being very many whom he knew would take arms 
with them. 

This Deponent further saith that he the said Doctor Plunkett this 
late harvest travelled through Munster butt what his occasions 
were, knowes not but suspects the worst. 

And this Examinate being further desired why he did not sooner 
discover this, saith that he was two yeares after in Spaine with 
the said ffather Crawley who he thought would have come along 
with him, and that since his coming to this kingdom being about 
two yeares he was a stranger and knew not to whom to apply 
and that alsoe he dayly expected over the said Thomas Crawley 


who saw and read the said letter in Marsellis and if here 
would declare the same and the contents of itt and hopes the 
said Crawley will soone come over and further sayeth not. 

Taken and sworn before me the day and yeare above said 

A true Coppie. 

No notice, was taken of this either, for as yet there was no 
market for roguery. The few bishops in the country were left 
undisturbed. But the respite they enjoyed was only the calm 
which precedes the storm. 


REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued), 

IN 1678 the stories of Popish conspiracies culminated in the 
"Popish PJot," and the persecution hitherto chronic became 
acute. Ireland according to Gates and Tonge was to take 
a leading part in the scheme for the destruction of Protestantism 
and liberty. The several garrisons (they said) were to be seized, 
four Jesuits were told off to assassinate Ormond, four" Irish ruffians" 
were lying perdu near Windsor to remove Charles himself, while 
on a concerted date there was to be a wholesale massacre of Irish 
Protestants. The leading conspirators were Peter Talbot, arch- 
bishop of Dublin, and James Lynch, archbishop of Tuam. A 
papal nuncio was actually resident in Ireland and ample assistance 
was promised by the French king. The first details reached 
Ormond in Kilkenny, 7th October. 


Whereas Information has been given upon oath touching a 
dangerous conspiracy against the life of his Sacred Majesty and 
that amongst divers other particulars of pernicious consequence 
it hath been testifyed in reference to his Maiestie's kingdom of 

1. That by the meanes and contrivance of Peter Talbot titular 
Archbishop of Dublin, the Duke of Ormond Lord Lieutenant 
of Ireland was to be murthered. 

2. That with this Signall there was a generall Rebellion to commence 
in that kingdom and to be supported by the Pope and the French 

3. That in order thereunto there was already a Nuncio sent by the 
Pope remaining in that kingdom and 40000 black Bills already 
there wherewith to arm the Irish upon occasion. 

All which points with severall others do more at large appeare by 
a paper given to this Board. It is thereupon ordered by his 

Maiestie in Council in particular that his Grace 

use Effectuall meanes to compell all the Titular Bishops or 
dignataryes of the Church of Rome to depart that kingdom 

52 REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued}. 

with all possible speed. But for the person of Peter Talbot 
titular Archbishop of Dublin against whom the Information is 
more particularly made, that he be seized and taken into custody 
and an account returned to this Board of what upon his Exam- 
inacon shall appear. Also that his Grace direct the Lords 
Archbishops and Bishops of that kingdom in their respective 
Dioceses to observe diligently the meetings and assemblies of 
the Popish Recusants and that they send his Grace Information 
of all which may deserve his Grace's care, and prevention of these 
evills we have been informed of. 30 September 1678. 


Ormond lost no time, for before setting out from Kilkenny 
he issued warrants to arrest Peter Talbot who in broken health 
had ventured home to his brother, Colonel Talbot, at Luttrells- 
town. By the time Ormond reached Dublin the archbishop was 
a prisoner at the castle, while a few days later Nicholas Netterville, 
superior of the Dublin Jesuits and several others were put under 
arrest. At a Council meeting it was resolved to banish all the 
regulars and higher clergy from the kingdom. Accordingly a 
proclamation similar in terms to those issued in 1673-4, was made 
16th October commanding all archbishops, bishops and others 
exercising popish jurisdiction to depart the kingdom by the 20th 
November. All convents, friaries and popish schools were forth- 
with dissolved and special penalties enacted against all receivers, 
relievers and harbourers of such popish clergy. How the proclama- 
tion was received we have some evidence. "At Waterford," 
writes Ormond, "the proclamation was in part taken down and 
the rest of it besmeared ; it was done in the night and without 
the walls so that it could not be known who did it." In Dublin 
"there was something of a fellow's offering to take down the pro- 
clamation (at least the sentry thought) for he thrust the fellow 
into the body." But whether through vincible ignorance of the 
proclamation or through frank contempt of it, few of the clergy 
had transported themselves by the 20th November. On the 19th 
Orrery reports. 

The Mayor and some of the chief aldermen of Youghal, Cork and 
Kinsale say only one of the regular Romish clergy (named Grace) 
has given in his name to be shipped, in these three ports though 
this is the end of the time. 

REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued,}. 53 

A supplementary proclamation 6th November required all 
owners and masters of ships bound to parts beyond the seas to set 
up in the most public places, notices in writing of the time of their 
departure and obliged them to take on board all such ecclesiastics 
as presented themselves. Orrery wrote from Cork 22nd November 
that several ships for France, Spain and Portugal had given notice 
of their departure but so far only two poor friars offered to go. 
Worse still "though none are gone, two have come in, one from 
France the other from Spain." But though the priests were not 
to be found in "the neighbourhood of foreign-going vessels, they 
abounded in other ports. 


Whereas severall of the popish clergie have resorted to Carlingford 
and Dundalk under pretence of shipping themselves there, and 
we being satisfied that it is well known to them that few or noe 
shipps do export thence for any forraine parts. We require 
you to take such of the popish clergie as you shall find in or 
about Carlingford or Dundalk into custody and safely to convey 
them to Drogheda to be kept in custody there untill there be 
convenience of shipping. 29 November 1678. 

Yet Ormond was sanguine, "This is the day" he writes to Lord 
Longford "beyond which all the titular and regular popish clergie 
in this kingdom stay in it at their own peril and they will not find 
it so easy for them as heretofore to lurk here and evade the penalties 
that will follow." On 2nd December, he proceeded to make good 
his word by issuing mandates to the sheriffs of the different counties 
throughout Ireland. 

We being informed that in manifest contempt of the proclamation 
few or none of the Popish regular clergy have departed the 
kingdom and for that we have hot yet received any intimation 
from you or any of the justices of the peace in your county 
that any of the said clergy are apprehended. We therefore do 
hereby require you and the said justices to redeem this your 
neglect and more vigorously put our commands in execution by 
diligent search for such clergy who have not departed the kingdom 
and committing them to safe custody. Whereof we expect a 
speedy and good account. 2 Dec 1678. 

As the local records have long perished, we can glean par- 
ticulars of the magistrates' proceedings only incidentally from the 
Carte manuscripts and the Council Books. 

54 REIGN OF CHARLES 11. (Continued}. 

The Jesuits, according to Gates, were the most dangerous of 
the clerical conspirators ; against them therefore action was first 
taken. Nicholas Netterville, the rector of the Dublin house, was 
arrested early in October and on the 17th of that month he was 
examined by Jones, bishop of Meath, Robert Booth and Sir John 



Sayeth that he is one of the Society of the Jesuits and that he 
is superintendent over such of that Society as are in and about 
Dublin viz. Mr. Corsher (g), Mr. Gough, Mr. Johnson Mr. William 
Long. Hee saith that of that Society there are about thirty 
in the whole kingdom, that there are none of them in the north 
of this kingdom, that he knows no one person of the Northern 
parts of that Society but the said Mr. Johnson. He saieth that 
the several persons following are of that Society, Mr. William 
Ryan of Caherlagh who is the Superior of the Society in Ireland, 
Mr. Quirck in Kilkenny, Mr. Gerrald Nugent of Brackly in the 
County of Westmeath who is now coming to reside in Dublin, 
Mr. Nicholas Nugent now resident neare Beggstown in the County 
of Dublin, Mr. Ignatius Carbery att Balledoyle in the said County 
of Dublin, Mr. Richard Bourke att Portumna in the County of 
Gallway, Mr. Kerwin in Gallway, Mr. ffrancis White, Mr. Martin 
White and Mr. Cleere in Waterford, Mr. Peter Creagh in Limerick, 
Mr. Jealous neare Rosse in the County of Wexford, Mr. Everarde 
who came into the kingdom about two yeares agoe and now 
(as the Examinat supposeth) is att Portumna but the names 
of the rest of the persons of the said Society in this kingdom he 
cannot at present remember. He saith he doth know Mr. 
Morgan (h) and did see him in this kingdom about three yeares 
since and that he came then into the kingdom by order of the 
Generall of the Society att Rome to visitt the Jesuits here con- 
cerning their Temporalities and to settle some differences between 
them concerning the same. That he did not know any money 
he brought with him, that he stayed in this kingdom about 
four or five weeks. He saith that when the Proclamation 
issued commanding all .persons of the Examinate's condicon to 
depart the kingdom, hee the Examinate was very sicke and 
continued soe for a long tyme after, which was testified under 

(g) Q uer Y Usher ? or it may be an assumed name. 

(h) "My Lords, likewise in January 1678 (as near as I can remember) 
Morgan was sent into Ireland as a visitor and he returns in February or 
March and gives us an account how ready the Irish were to vindicate their 
freedom and their religion from the oppression of the English as they called 
it." Titus Gates, Trial of Lord Stafford, p. 115. 

REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued}. 55 

the hand of his physician and uppon his recouery hee desyred 
to depart but finding that severall persons who did depart were 
returned he stayd and hath continued in the kingdom since. 


Father Netterville was doubtless transported but if we trust 
the information given before the English House of Lords 10th 
November, 1680, he made his way back to Ireland, since he was 
ordered to be arrested again on that date. The proceedings 
against the Jesuit Superior appear in a report of the Irish Privy 
Council sent to England. 

The Lord Lieutenant having notice of one William Ryan to be 
Superior of the Jesuits in this kingdom thought fit to have him 
secured and examined and his papers seized, which accordingly 
was done by Captain Robert Fitz Gerald a member of this 
Board in pursuance of several letters from this Board of the 
5th and 8th of November 1678 and the said Ryan was brought 
up with a guard and committed to the Castle. 

On the 5th of November 1678 letters were sent from the Board 
to Mr. Secretary Coventry giving an accompt of the proceedings 
against Ryan and one Richard Bourke another Jesuit with the 
examinations of the said Ryan and Bourke in which mention 
was made of one thousand pounds given by one Hughes a Jesuit 
to a college of Jesuits at Poictiers in France which thousand 
pounds was said to be lodged in the hands of Daniel Arthur. 

And there appearing nothing material against Ryan in reference 
to the plot he was by order of the Board dated 26th of February 
1678[9] put aboard a ship bound from the port, of Dublin to 
some foreign part in order to his transportation according to the 
proclamation for that purpose. 

Some of the Protestant bishops were active in the work of 
capturing Jesuits and other popish ecclesiastics. In January, 1679, 
the Council directed Secretary Davis to acquaint Hopkins, bishop 
of Raphoe. 

Your letter to the Bishop of Meath concerning the apprehending 
and imprisonment of Stretch a Jesuit was communicated to the 
Council. It is their pleasure that Stretch be continued under 
his imprisonment until an opportunity presents itself wherby 
hee shall be transported. As to the poor man in whose house 
hee lodged and was taken their Lordships do not see anything 
whereupon to ground a presentment against him. 

The magistrates' correspondence shows similar activity. One 
Jeremiah Jones writes from Sligo to Ormond, 12th November, 1678 

56 REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued). 

eight days before the time-limit for the departure of the 

There was taken in my neighbourhood last week by one Henry 
Thornton, a Jesuite by name John fntz Gerald born in the County 
of Kerry and as he saith not above seaven weeks in Ireland. 
He took shipping in August last in Nants in ffrance and came 
for England and staid at London some time, and from thence 
took shipping at Bristoll and landed at Belfast and soe took 
his journey through this country to Galway. After apprehending 
him, Thornton and some others that were by, heard him utter 
some words that discovered him to be sent over as one of the 
twelve jesuites sent into this country by the pope. Taking him 
that night to my own house and telling him of the daunger he 
was in of Death he imediatly did disclose vnto us wher there were 
eight or nine of his Society dispersed in Galway, Limerick, 
Waterford and Kilkenny according to the inclosed note of their 
names with severall others which had in their keeping Com- 
missions under the Great Scale of France and the Pope. I 
brought him to the toun of Sligoe and secured him in the town 
Martiall's house with a souldier attending him day and night 
at my own charge. 

Though few in numbers, several of the Jesuits evaded capture ; 
two years later John Bradley and Thomas Atterbury sent over by 
Shaftesbury to work up evidence for the Plot, write from Dublin 
that they had seized some Jesuits but there were others still to be 
got. Who these were, or whether Jesuits at all, does not appear. 
In January, 1681, the Council got on the track of a real Jesuit 
without knowing it. 


We require you upon receipt hereof to take into custody John Cleere 
a regular priest now resident in the Citty of Waterford ; we 
require you to seize upon his papers and have him sent under 
a safe guard to this Citty of Dublin. 


Whereas etc. we find by Certificate of the Marshall and of a Surgeon 
in Waterford that the said Cleere is soe sicke that he was not in 
a condition to travell, you are to view him and certify etc. 

The Augustinians, at this time a very small body in Ireland 
seem to have obeyed the proclamation. But in steering clear of 
Scylla some of them found themselves in Charybdis. Sir Robert 
Southwell wrote to Ormond from London, 7th December, 1678. 

REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued}. 57 

A vessel was lately driven into Milford Haven by stress of weather 
wherein were four Austin friars from Dublin in their way to 
France ; they coming ashore were clapped in gaol till orders 
go from hence and the orders which go this night are for examining 
the seamen as well as the friars to be fully possessed of the truth. 

The custom officer at Fishguard had the worst opinion of his 


There were forced to Milford lately by stress of weather four 
friars, they say of the St. Augustine's order and they call them- 
selves James Higgin, Thomas Eustace, John Dowdall and 
Laughlin Keogh and another person who they call Thomas 
Conroy, servant to Eustace. They flung a cask overboard when 
they saw they could not avoid the port, and they forced the 
master and the two boys that belonged to the vessel to keep 
sea to the utmost. They came on board at Dublin. I am 
persuaded they are some of those villains that conspired against 
the good Duke of Ormond. They are in the common gaole 
and shall be so kept till we hear more of them, which I pray 
inquire into, for we cannot extend too much diligence, our King 
and kingdoms lying under the burthen of Popish villains. God 
preserve us in this dangerous age. 

The Dominicans and Franciscans being the strongest bodies 
numerically, occupied more of the Government's attention. An 
unworthy member of the former order named Bernard Dennis 
helped to bring upon his fellows, much persecution. The fearsome 
story he told was : 

In the year '68 1 entred into the Order of the Dominicans in Ireland ; 
and in the same year there arrived at Dublin a Franciscan 
Frier, brother to the late Earl of Carlingford, and arriving there 
he made severall Collectors for the levying a competent sum 
of money out of every convent. The collectors were by name, 
John Reynolds alias Landy and John Berne and arriving in the 
County of Sligoe in the month of May '68 when the Collectors 
came to the Convent of our Friers there, all the friers gathered 
together into a room and these Collectors coming in did read 
their commission given them from one James Taaffe as they 
said ; and I was there personally present though a novice ; and 
upon reading their commissions they said forty shillings was to 
be paid by the Prior and the friers of that Convent ; and the 
Provincial of the order of the Dominicans questioned the power 
of the said Reynolds and Berne and so did the Prior ; and I 
ask'd why the money was levy'd ? They gave answer : that 
that levy and several other levies was to encourage the French 

58 REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued). 

King in whose kingdom was several bishops of Ireland, clergy- 
men and others whose business it was to provoke the King to 
bring an army to invade Ireland whenever time should serve. 

Some of the Dominicans freely transported themselves. On 
13th December, 1678, the Council wrote to Sir William King at 

As to the two Dominican friars who surrendered themselves since 
the Proclamation and are now committed by you, it is the 
Council's pleasure that they be secured until there be an oppor- 
tunity of transporting them with the Titular Bishop of Limerick 
and the other friers mentioned in your letters, which you write 
will be sent away next week and it is our pleasure that the 
persons who harboured them be proceeded against at the next 
Quarter Sessions. 

The two priests who were celebrating mass within the Citty of 
Lymerick if they appear to be secular priests and have not 
exercised any forraine jurisdiction, that they be dischardged yet 
they bee not hereafter permitted to celebrate mass within the 
garrison there. 

Others were not so compliant. Felix O'Connor, for instance, 
Prior of Sligo, died in prison there after some months confinement. 
From Cork gaol Constantine O'Keefe, Provincial of the order in 
Ireland, petitioned government for release. 


Whereas a petition was lately exhibited at this Board in the name 
of Constantine Keeffe a Dominican Frier alledging severall 
infirmities whereby he is unable to transport himself according 
to the Proclamation. We require of you to inform yourself of 
that matter and to make return to us. 

Many after hiding for a considerable time returned to their 
former haunts and were captured. 


Your letters of the 28th of August concerneing the apprehending 
of Michael Connor pretended prior of the order of Dominicans, 
at Roscommon, Bryan McDermott and John Keogh friers and 
David Gawan secular priest, were communicated to this Board, 
it is our pleasure that the said persons be kept in safe custodie. 


Your letters of the 8th instant concerning Dominick Linch fitz 
Stephen a regular priest of the order of St. Dominick who is 

REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued}. 59 

apprehended and in gaol were read. We require you that the 
said Linch be kept in strict custodie. 

Human nature is often frail : 


Whereas etc. we require you to inform yourself of the health of 
Dominick Lynch who, as he says, has considerable discoveries 
to make. 

When the terror of the Plot was subsiding a Dominican bishop 
of Elphin, Dominick Burke, began in hopes of better times to build 
an altar in their old abbey of Athenry. 


We being given to understand that there is erecting in the Abbey 
of Athenry a monument or tombe for one Bourke titular Bishopp 
of Elphin with inscriptions thereon of his severall titles and 
dignities, you are to cause enquiry to be made and if you soe 
find, a stop is to be put to the work. 


We finde by your Lordshipps letters there is already not onely a 
monument but an alter very stately erected of marble and stone 
in the Quire of the said Abbey, and whereas the magistrates 
have neglected etc. you are to cause the said monument if offensive 
to Protestants, to be taken down. 

Again when Arran, Lord Deputy, enquired of Ormorid what he 
was to do regarding a Dominican at Burrishoole and some more 
recently settled in Galway, Ormond replied 30th August, 1683. 

There is nobody here at present from whom I can properly receive 
advice, much less directions the King being at Winchester 
how to advise you to proceed with the senseless and extravagant 
insolency of the friars and nuns who are guided by them at 

Galway and Burrishoole I am of opinion that if 

it be not too late you should sent orders from the Council to the 
Judges that go the Connaught circuit to have the mad friar at 
Burrishoole indicted upon the statute in force against such as 
shall be found in the act of saying mass and prosecuted to the 
utmost extent of the law. If the assizes be over I conceive it 
may be done at a Quarter Sessions. 

The nuns are silly creatures yet they must be dispersed and those 
who gave them a retreat ought to be sought after. But those 
priests and friars who governed the ceremony of admitting a 
new nun ought be prosecuted as far as the law will reach, and 
if some of the lay assistants of the best quality at the profession 

60 REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued}. 

of the nun and at the mass at Burrishoole were also prosecuted 
it will be better. When I mention the dispersing of the nuns 
you will understand my meaning extends to the friaries also. 

A week later, September 8th, Arran was able to assure Ormond 
that already the friars had been dealt with. 

There will I hope be no further trouble given us here by the priests 
friars or nuns, for those in Burrishoole have been tried and 
found guilty at the assizes and fined at 50 a piece, which they 
are to pay and find sureties of their good behaviour before they 
can get out of gaol, and those about Galway are dispersed 
and run away. This way of proceeding of the magistrate, I 
conclude will deter others of their persuasion if they are not 
quite out of their wits. 

Again a little later his anticipations were fulfilled. 

The priests etc. begin to be more discreet than they were since the 
insolencies of those at Burrishoole have been so severely punished 
so that I think your Grace may safely let that matter rest. My 
Lord Primate will send you the particulars of their trial. 

The Franciscans occupy a large space in the official corres- 


Your letter concerning the apprehension of Edmund Butler pre- 
tended Guardian of Carrick was communicated to his Excellency 
and their Lordshipps, who command me to acquaint you that 
he is to be continued in safe custody. 


We have received information that one Rowland Comyne a Popish 
Priest is secured in that town by Lieutenant Bellamy and that 
he finds him a decrepitt infirme man neere foure score yeares 
of age. We think fitt to inform your selfe of the said Comyn's 
condition and if you find him soe disabled as hee cannot trans- 
porte him selfe and that he bee a Regular Priest you take good 
security for his departure out of the kingdom within some certain 
time to be lymited by you. 

We find by your lettres of the 27th of November last you have 
comitted to Gaole one Edmund Butler a ffranciscan frier and 
one Andrew Louder of Carrigg a Secular Priest. As to the 
Secular Priest hee being not within the intent of the Proclamation 
we think fitt you give orders for discharging him and as for the 
frier wee did uppon intimation of his age and weaknes give 
order that he should continue in safe custody until he should 
be in a condition to travell, and did require good security for 
his departure within a certain time. 

REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued}. 61 


We find you have lately seized on two friars in the Convent of 
Ballymote and secured a greate library and the friars vestments 
in the said Convent and as we have given orders for the payment 
of the Reward for apprehending the regular popish clergie soe 
wee require you that you take speciall care that the library and 
vestments be secured, and that you continue the friars in custody. 


We find by your letters of the 26th of November you have appre- 
hended two popish priests but you do not mention whether 
they be regulars or seculars. If regulars we require that they 
be secured -until there be an opportunity of transporting -them, 
but if seculars they are to be dischardged. 


We pray and require you to cause diligent search to be made for 
John O'Neale, Guardian of the ffranciscan friers of Armagh. 
We require you to have him apprehended and examined upon 
the matters menconed in ffiorence Wyer's examinacon. 

Occasionally the fidelity of his Majesty's servants in pursuit 
of the friars was not above suspicion. For instance, in a letter 
to Ormond, September 28th, 1680, we find that Sir Peter Cosby 
issued a warrant to the gaoles of the Co. Kerry to set at liberty 
Friar O'Keeffe committed for the Plot which warrant purported 
to be by licence of the Privy Council. On learning this an order 
in Council was made that Cosby be put under arrest and committed 
to Dublin Castle. Again : 



Your letters concerning Daniel Carter and the Friars of Timo- 
league were read. His Grace and their Lordshipps doe well 
approve of your diligence in binding over the persons who 
pretended the takeing of the said Friars. If they produce not 
the friar we require that you cause the said persons to be pre- 
sented at the Assizes. 


Whereas Con Magennis hath not given any account of his taking 
Bryan Magoirck and others but under pretence as we are informed 
apprehended severall popish priests and dischardged them for 
money, we require that you cause the said Magennis to be appre- 

62 REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued}. 

Again Lord Clare reports about the Guardian of Quin, 18th 
January, 1681. 

I know Brady to be the most eminent, zealous and most knowing 
man of his order in this kingdom, and that nothing of the papists' 
designs here could be hid from him. Had he not an opinion 
my cousin Donogh O'Brien to be a man that loves his quiet, 
he would have told him more ; his work being to be carried on 
only by desperate fellows. 

Ormond replied that if Brady was still in the country it would 
be Clare's duty to have him apprehended. But he had his sus- 
picions of his correspondent's sincerity. Clare now writes that 
there was no use in arresting Brady. 


I find that the friar Brady is still in this kingdom, I have employed 
people to apprehend him. But if they do take him I know it 
will not be to much purpose as to any discoveries he will make 
for he will sooner burn than discover anything which may pre- 
judice the interest of the Roman Catholic religion. 

Many petitions were sent in to be dispensed from transporta- 
tion. A few examples may be given in extenso. 

To his Grace James Duke of Ormond Lieut Generall and Generall 
Governor of his Maiestie's kingdom of Ireland and the rest of 
his Maiestie's Privie Council. 

The humble petition of Laurence Tancard a ffranciscan fryar 
Humbly sheweth That your Petitioner taking notice of the 
severall proclamations lately issued for those of his profession 
to depart this kingdome by a limited time would with all sub- 
missiveness give obedience thereto hee being seaventy two 
yeares of adge and continually troubled with many infirmities 
by reason of which he has not beene able to goe out of his chamber 
these seaven moneths past. Your Grace and this honourable 
table will be pleased to take to your consideration that your 
Petitioner for not obeying the Nuncio in Kilkenny who excom- i 
municated all those who sided with the peace of '48, was at his 
going vnto Rome cast into prison where he remained for the 
space of fourteen weekes and was in great danger to be sent 
vnto the Gallies and that also for subscribing to the Remon- 
strance he suffered as much as any others. Further your Grace 
and this honourable table was gratiously pleased on my former 
petition to graunt me a reference to Doctor Vallor for whom I 
have sent above forty times but never could have the happiness 
of his visitt. 

REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued). 63 

His Humble request to your Grace now is that with the eies of 
pitty and compassion he may be looked upon in the sad condition 
he is in and that he may during the short time he has to live 
by the course of nature be dispensed with from goeing beyond 
sea according to the said Proclamation but that hee may live 
heere in Dubline among his few frinds who may afford him some 
charitable relife and comfort. And he as in duty bound will 

For my Lord Duke of Ormond Lord Liftennant of Ireland the 
humble petition of Antony Nugent poor Capucin. 

Humbly sheweth That your Petitioner was dispensed of the two 
last proclamations by the mediation of his noble friends my 
Lord of Grannard and Sir Theophilus Jones uppon the notice 
of preserving the English in the last rebellion against which I 
have preached. Your Grace may call to mynd how my Lord 
Moore did send me with a letter of the danger of Tredath 
[Drogheda] and this with hazard of my leef when none else 
would undertake the danger. Your Grace did employ me with 
a letter in Westmeath to the sheerif. I am very ould and sicke. 
I might offer other motives but I leave all and my own concernes 
to your gratious consideration and I will ever pray etc. 


There is no reference on these petitions, but sometimes a 
temporary respite was granted. 

To his Grace James Duke of Ormond etc. and to his Maiesties 
Privy Councill. 

The humble Petition of Dominick Martyn an Augustinian 
fryer humbly sheweth vnto your Grace and Lordshipps that 
.your Petitioner was willing pursuant to your Graces and Lord- 
shipps Proclamation to transport himselfe out of the kingdom 
and would doe so accordingly had his severall distempers 
permitted him. That ye Petitioner is three score and nyne 
yeares of adge and has been for sundry yeares past so unwieldly 
that he was and is still found to keepe his bedd as by Physitian's 
certificate to that purport hereunto annexed may appeare. 

May it therefore please your Grace and Lopps to consider your 
poore Petitioner's adge and infirmitie and in regard that he is 
willing to enter security before any Justice of the Peace of the 
Countie of Gallway for his good behaviour that your Grace and 
Lopps may be pleased to grant him leave to remaine in the 
kingdom that thereby he may take the libertie of breathing 
the air for health, if his infirmitie will permit him, without being 

[Endorsed] Ordered that the Petitioner do with good security 
before the Mayor of Gallway acknowledge a recognisance in the 

64 REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued). 

sum of two hundred pounds, to personally appear within ten 
days before the Lord Lieutenant or other Chief Governor, and 
shall in the meane time demean himself as a dutiful and loyal 
subject and upon certificate of the Mayor of Gallway of such 
recognisance we are pleased that the Petitioner be permitted to 
remain in this kingdom until further orders notwithstanding the 

9 July 1680. 

Again : 


By your letters to the Earl of Ossery concerning one James Calverly 
a Regular priest of the order of St. Francis and finding by his 
application to you that he is so wake and sicke that hee cannot 
transport himself at present, you are to take good security 
for his departure out of the kingdom within six months of the 
date hereof. 


By your letters concerning one James Calvarly a Regular priest 
of the order of St. Francis who had formerly a lycence to con- 
tinue in this kingdom for six months and it appearing by your 
said letters that you took a Chirurgion with you and went to 
him and found him in such a languishing condition by a con- 
sumption, that he hath not been out of his bed for three moneths 
neither is like to be till he be caried to his grave, you are to take 
good security for his departure within six months. 

More convincing reasons than ill-health were occasionally 
pleaded : 


Your letters of the 14th instant concerning Paule Gormley a 
ffranciscan friar now in gaol at Derry were read. You are to 
examine him concerning the Popish Plott and to give him an 
assurance in his Maiesties behalfe that he shall not onlie be sett 
at libertie but alsoe be rewarded according to the meritt of his 

Six weeks later (2nd November) the Council wrote that Gormley 
was to be sent to Dublin with all speed. He proved however a 
sorry witness. He first revealed the manufacture of evidence by 
Hetherington, Shaftesbury's agent, and next at the trial of 
Archbishop Plunket, came forward to testify the malice of his 
fellow-friar Moyer, and that the archbishop was concerned in no 
plot but did 'more good in Ireland than harm. 

REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued}. 65 

Whether as informers or as invalids, the number permitted 
to remain in the country was small indeed. Ormond replying to 
some charges on this head, writes 4th May, 1679. 

It is true that some regulars were permitted to stay, and they are 
not five in the whole kingdom, at least I think so, and those are 
. such as by reason of age and physical infirmity could not be 
transported, or such as would be worse used in any popish 
country than the law can use them here, by reason of their 
declaring against the Pope's power with Peter Walsh. To force 
such away would show more inhumanity than prudence. 

Even when the Titus Gates' frenzy had spent itself the pur- 
suit of the friers still continued. The parson of Innishowen, John 
Humble, writes to Hopkins, bishop of Deny, 24th November, 1682. 

Pursuant to your Lordship's order I have made enquiry into 
the late confluence of the Romish clergy, which consisted of 
regulars as well as seculars. They held a formal visitation and 
paid their accustomed dueties to one Manus O'Merisan as their 
superior, and vicar general. There is a sharp dispute and 
contest betwixt this O'Merisan and Father McGorkey (the 
person I told your lordship was formerly in my Lord Massareenes 
custody for words of reflection as competitors for the supremacy) . 
The inferior clergy pretend to constitute their superior by their 
own election and by this artifice and evasion think to secure 
themselves from the penalty of the law for extolling of and 
exercising foreign jurisdiction. They have their monthly 
assemblies, and what may be the production of such dangerous 
conventions, if not reasonably restrained is not hard to conjecture, 
the fatalities of former times sufficiently demonstrating to us 
the sad results thereof. There are many friars among us 
particularly Father McColgan, Father Hegarty , Father O 'Dogherty 
(there are two of that name) with some others. I hope your 
Lordship will take this into your serious consideration, and 
make some essay to redress the dangerous irregularities of these 
sort of men who are indefatigably industrious in all those methods 
that subtilty and malice can suggest to effect the ruin of our 
poor afflicted Zion. 

The bishop in enclosing this letter to Primate Boyle complained 
of the neglect of the Justices of that district, an observation in 
which the primate entirely concurred. But three weeks later the 
bishop was able to send the satisfactory intelligence. 

Our new sheriff Mr. Benson hath apprehended one of those trouble- 
some friars your Grace hath heard of, and assures me he is in 
pursuit of more. Captain Cocken hath pawned me his word 


66 REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued}. 

that there shall not be a friary left in that county, and because 
I know him an intelligent and active man I take his word for 
it, and shall from time to time give your Grace an account of 
what is done. The friar's name now taken is John McColgan 
superior of the Convent of Deny. I humbly beg your Grace's 
blessing and commands. 

From the other end of the country we learn that the Protestant 
clergy were equally active. Roane, bishop of Killaloe, and the 
Primate wrote to Ormond about the Clare friars. The latter in a 
communication to Arran, Lord Deputy, 14th November, 1682, says : 

I know so much the temper of that sort of people that they are 
easily raised to insolency upon the least appearance of indulgence 
to them and therefore it may be fitt to fall upon the first you can 
light on, with severity. What was writ by the Bishop can be 
no secret, and if totally neglected may one time or other, be made 
ill use of, therefore if there be a convent in those parts as I believe 
there is, let as many of the friars as can be found be apprehended 
and treated according to the Proclamation, and this being done 
without special direction by the government there, will be best. 

Though the full stress of the storm was felt by the religious 
orders it is not to be supposed that the secular priests passed 
unscathed. There were plenty miscreants who for personal 
spleen or love of gain or to escape the penalties of their own crimes, 
were ready to trump up stories of treason against them. And 
there were not a few such as Orrery and Jones, bishop of Meath, 
to whose nets everything was fish, who in conjunction with Shaftes- 
bury and the leaders of "the Protestant Parliament" were straining 
every nerve to implicate the Irish clergy. 

Orrery writes November 29th, 1678: 

The Mayor of Cork having sent me the deposition of a soldier of 
the garrison that went formerly to mass but now is an officer's 
servant and mustered, that one Garret Fitzgerald a Popish 
Priest had since August last in his hearing often taught his 
parishioners that the King of England was only King of the 
Protestants of Ireland, but the King of France was King of 'the 
Papists of Ireland, I sent him to gaol. 

The same month he asks the Council's directions as to Maurice 
Condon a popish priest whom he has arrested. On December 10th, 
he is earnest to apprehend a Romish priest "who is entrusted with 
most of their secrets and can if he will discover much." Ten days 
later the priest was arrested. 

REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued}. 67 

I have spent most of the afternoon yesterday, examining the 
priest Corrie Meehan, and after very long examining him and 
telling him my charge he positively denied all. I have this day 
sent him to Cork gaol with a constable and a guard. 

A little later upon his report directions are given to ascertain 
if the six persons landed in Kinsale from Nantes are in popish orders, 
and if so to transport them at the earliest opportunity. Again the 
informer Henegan has advised the arrival in Kerry of two popish 
priests from Paris "habited like gentlemen." One of these escaped 
in a creek near Ventry at which harbour Orrery's men were watch- 
ing ; the other they are still on the look out for. Information of 
treasonable practices was quite unnecessary since any assemblage 
for mass might be construed as a popish meeting and those present 
at it, dealt with according to the proclamation. 


We have received information that on Sunday the 24th of November 
last there was a great concourse of people in and neare Athy, and 
there were about 1,300 persons assembled to heere Mass. Wee 
require you to inform yourself of the number soe assembled and 
their conditions and qualities and the names of some few of the 

The Sovereign replied that only three hundred were present, 
mostly parishioners, those of greatest consequence being Edmund 
Dunn, priest, William Smith, Michael Smith, Richard Hoey, and 
another member of the corporation. The Lieutenant in command 
added in a further communication that the size of the congregation 
was due to "the apprehension that mass would soon become scarce, 
and soe nobody would omit it while it was to be had." Mass, in 
truth, in the towns was soon to become scarce. The Council, 
April 4th, 1679, sent the following mandate to the several mayors 
and sovereigns of the cities and towns. 

We are informed that contrary to the Proclamation of 20 November 
1678 greate and unusuall numbers of the Popish religion doe 
meete and assemble themselves within divers of the Cities and 
Towns Corporate of this Kingdom, to exercise their religion, we 
require you to take care that such meetings within the walls 
and liberties thereof be dispersed and dissolved, and that you 
do not permit any popish services to be publickly celebrated 
within the said Towns, Cities or liberties or suburbs thereof. 

68 REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued}. 

By the following month Ormond was able to report of Dublin, 
"There is not one mass-house left unsuppressed in this city." Not 
however without difficulty, for he writes to Ossory, 12th April: 

There happened some disorder at and after the suppressing one 
of the mass-houses hi this city. One of the Lord Mayor's officers 
struck a priest as he was kneeling at the altar in his ordinary 
clothes, but the officer being ignorant that other vestments are 
necessary to say mass in, thought he was then saying one, which 
provoked him to that rudeness to the priest. The blow provoked 
the priest to say that if Christ were Christ he would avenge the 
abuse, or words to that effect. In short that night when it was 
dark the officer was assaulted by four or five men, and much 
bruised and wounded and we are by proclamation and reward 
endeavouring to find out the persons that did it. 

The suppression of the mass-houses long continued. 



Some complaint hath been made to his Majesty that the 
chapels allowed to the Romanists here in Dublin have been 
shut up by me. I know not nor ever heard of any chapels allowed 
them though some such public houses have been overlooked and 
neglected by the government by connivance only as I conceive. 
So have also many of the public meeting houses of other Dis- 
senters. [During the Dissenters plot of 1683] the Earl of Arran 
and Council thought fit when the laws of England were awakened 
against them to put some check upon them here also, and because 
without great clamour and obloquy they knew not how to dis- 
tinguish between one Dissenter and another, they thought fit to 
restrain all. I sent therefore for the heads of the Romish Com- 
munion and for such reasons as I gave them I must, to their 
commendation, say they readily complied and shut up their 
doors where they before publicly met. Thus they continued a 
good while and I believe all the conventicles in Ireland were for 
a while suppressed. The first I heard who opened their doors 
were the Papists and one Mr. Fitzgerald preached publicly here 
in Dublin in his cap and surplice and, as I was told, published 
indulgences. I sent for him and he promised to do so no more. 
I heard afterwards that several other priests in this town had 
opened their shops. I sent therefore to one Mr. Wesely [ap- 
pointed bishop of Kildare 1683] a fair and discreet man and 
I told him, which is truth, that I believe they could do nothing 
more grateful to the fanatics. The gentleman was so reasonable 
to apprehend the case, and if he did give order to forbear their 
public assemblies it was voluntarily done without any other 
force than of reason and expediency. 

.REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued). 69 

The moderation of the archbishop's language it may be observed 
was due to the fact that a few months later there would be a Catholic 
on the throne. This indeed tamed the hearts of fire, of the per- 
secutors generally. 


Before I left Galway being invited by the Irish merchants to a 
'*' dinner I took occasion to represent the folly and indiscretion 
they were guilty of to have a public priory and nunnery so near 
the town, and four public mass-houses in the town. I acquainted 
them also of the danger of it because it was against the law, and 
in contempt of the late proclamation and the madness of their 
clergy who flock over now would inevitably draw on mischief 
upon them. They thanked me for the friendly intimation and 
promised to take a speedy course in it. And accordingly the next 
morning they came to me and assured me the priory and convent 
should immediately disperse, and there should be no more public 
mass-houses. But they hoped they might have the exercise of 
their religion privately in their own houses and desired me to 
interpose with the Mayor that he would not disturb nor trouble 
their secular priests which were not within the proclamation. 
I spoke to the Deputy Mayor who will give your Excellency an 
account how far they perform their promise. 


I gave your Excellency an account how readily the Popish party 
at Galway complied with the suppressing of their public mass- 
houses and dispersing the convent and nunnery. In Limerick 
I had discourse with my Lord Bishop and the Mayor for sup- 
pressing both the conventicles and public mass-houses and they 
promised to do it effectually very soon. 

The insolence of the friars and priests in re-establishing them- 
selves in Kilkenny was the subject of angry correspondence. It 
was Ormond's own town and his Protestant character was at 



I am informed that the insolence as well as indiscretion of the 
regular Popish clergy was grown to that height that they were 
building or fitting up no less than four chapels at Kilkenny, 
and that they persisted in that folly though advised to the 
contrary by some more sober men of their own religion. It may 
therefore be fit for you to send to the Bishop of Ossory and 
perhaps to the Mayor of the city to let them know you are so 
informed and desire them to take a care to prevent it as also 
the celebration of mass within the walls of the town. This may 

70 REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued}. 

be a greater kindness to them than they deserve. It may 
perhaps be better to let them go on till they have laid out the 
money some fools have given them, and then to dislodge them. 


They were friars that I told you I heard were fitting four chapels 
for themselves within the city of Kilkenny. There are besides 
one or two more parish priests who have still been tolerated to 
say mass in the suburbs. If those presume to draw congregations 
within the walls they ought to be suppressed as well as the others, 
and I desire you would take care of this more particularly than 
in other places, because the town is mine and my residence. 

Ormond's half-brother, George Mathew a strong Catholic 
was blamed for the toleration in Kilkenny. 


My Uncle Mathew showed me your letter to him of the 8th instant. 
It was high time for him to come to town, for the indiscretion 
of the Irish clergy at Kilkenny was discoursed of in this town 
much to his prejudice, of which he was so sensible that I hear 
he has got some person to prevail with the regulars to disperse, 
and I shall take care that the like folly be not committed any 

It is not to be supposed that the suppression of the mass- 
houses was confined strictly, in accordance with the proclamation, 
to the cities and corporate towns. The official correspondence 
shows that the villages and even the open country was not always 
safe for the celebration of. mass. 


There is one Richard Gillareagh Popish priest of Killrush who as 
wee are informed did lately take the bouldnes publiquely to 
celebrate mass neare to the Church doore of Kilrush and that 
although he was forbidden the same .by one of the Justices of 
the Peace, yet in contempt of his Maiesties authoritie he per- 
sisted to celebrate mass there and used unfitting expressions to 
the said Justice of the Peace. We require you to cause him to 
be apprehended and committed to safe custody. 

And in case any other popish priest doe publiquely celebrate 
mass there, or that those of the popish religion do assemble in 
any great numbers within the said Countie we require you to 
disperse them. 


After our hearty commendations, it appearing unto us by the 
examination of Robert Cole, gentleman, that the Papists doe 

REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued}. 71 

in great numbers meete at Masse-houses in the Baronies of Barry- 
more and Imokelly we require you that the proclamation of 
20 November- 1678 be put in execution and let the Sheriff and the 
Justices of the Peace know that if they had done their Dueties, 
the unlawfull meetings of the papists might have been prevented. 

By the Examination of Robert Cole he says that there was since 
Michaelmas last a newe Masse house erected neere the parish 
church of Killeenchoola in the County of Clare, you are to inform 
yourself of the matter and make return to this Board. 

On the arrival of Shaftesbury's agents early in 1681 to work 
up the Plot the raids on the priests were resumed. The Mayor 
of Youghal having reported that certain papers were found in 
possession of Sheehy, a popish" priest, he is to be put under bonds of 
200 to appear within ten days at Dublin Castle for examination. 
On same date, 4th January, 1681, warrants were sent to the sheriff 
of Limerick for the apprehension of Teige O'Coffy, parish priest 
of Oola, Teige O'Hea, parish priest of lough, and Connor O'Coffey, 
parish priest of Doon. A little later Sir William Tichbourne was 
ordered to arrest Marius O'Quinn, parish priest of Fews, and Connor 
Maginness to arrest Bryan O'Hellin, parish priest of Muckney, Co. 
Monaghan. But this extraordinary time will perhaps be best 
realised from the proceedings of James Geoghegan. Originally a 
Franciscan, he had been unfrocked and degraded for misconduct. 
Making his way to England he renounced the errors of popery 
and was received into the Established Church by the bishop of 
Durham. In due course he appeared as a witness for the Popish 
Plot before the Privy Council. On 6th October, 1680, he received a 
mandate from the Council to proceed to Ireland in order to make 
arrests there of the principal conspirators known to him. Landing 
in Youghal a month later, he swore informations wholesale against 
the Waterford gentry and clergy. His behaviour however was so 
outrageous that the Mayor of Waterford had him arrested and sent 
to Ormond. But as a passport, an order from the Privy Council, 
and a letter of introduction from Lord Sunderland to Ormond 
himself, were found on him, Ormond had no alternative but to 
provide money, and a guard of horsemen to enable him to carry 
on his work of arresting Popish traitors. From the informations 
sworn by the troopers and others we gather the following: 

72 REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued}. 

James Fitz Gerald being sworn etc. 22 December 1680, sayeth. 
That James Geoghegan formerly a ffryer came to his house at 
Maddinstown the 1 1th instant in a violent maner with eight horse- 
men and a piper playing before him late in the evening and clapt 
a Carbine to the brest of this Examinate's wife demanding where 
her husband was, thence went to Athy and returned the next day. 
Presently there came in a priest guarded by one of the horse- 
men (i) and the said Geoghegan asked this Examinat whether 
he would be bound for the said Preist, who refused soe to be. 
This Examinat further saith that the Preist was then released 
by the said Geoghegan, paying him 32s 6d ; and a Challice and 
box of Oyle was delivered back to the Preist on payment of the 

This Examinat further saith that said Geoghegan on or about the 
16th Instant at Dunnadea took from him a nagg, saddle and 
bridle on pretence that hee looked like a young ffryer, which 

. horse hee, the said Geoghegan sold for a Guinney tho worth three 
pounds to a horseman at Athy. 

William Lowfield, one of the troopers, describes further progress. 

At the house of Widow Ledwitch at Clonsilla we arrested Father 
Ledwitch and seized a challice and vestments, thence we went 
to Leixlip where the said Geoghegan dined with Mr. White and 
forbid him to harbour any preists, thence to Kildrought where 
we seized Father Brown, thence to Maynooth. At Maynooth 
the said Geoghegan drew his purse wherein was gold and silver 
and showing it to Brown, the Priest, said, look hear you Rogue, 
if you would doe as I doe you will not want for Gold or Silver. 
At Kilcock the said Geoghegan preferred to sell the said challice 
but none would buy it, and then he left the said vestments with 
a woman at the sign of the Earl of Kildares Arms to keepe till 
his return. Thence we went to Tecullen or some such name 
where was a convent, and the said Geoghegan seized on an old 
man who hee said was a frier but uppon the intercession of some 
of the women of the towne, hee left him behind him with the 
Constable and the said Geoghegan did likewise seize at Tecullen 
some vestments belonging to a priest but left them behind him. 

On Friday night at Kildare hee lay at an Inn and directed the 
Horsemen to bee with him by 7 o'c in the morneing, and accord- 
ingly they attended him from that howre on horse backe vntill 
about 3 or 4 a Clock on the afternoon, all which time hee the said 
Geoghegan was drinkinge with severall persons of the Towne 
and had a piper playing to him. 

From James Fitz Gerald's deposition we learn the fate of the 

(*) This priest we learn from other informations was Thomas Archbold. 

REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued). 73 

Mr. Skinner a Justice of the Peace told this Examinat that 
Geoghegan brought before him two priests Browne and Ledwith 
whom he accused of treason and the said Mr. Skinner sending 
a Mittimus to the Constable to carry them to Gaole the said 
Geoghegan took the said Mittimus and blotted out the name of 
Ledwith and dismist him, and received forty shillings for his 
soe doing as the said Ledwith told this Examinat. 

A further report of Benjamin Barrington, William Barker and 
others of the troop concludes the record of rascality. 

Tuesday 14 December 1680. In the town of Lea Mr. Geoghegan 
seized one he called a Preist who was released by him upon 
Baile given for his appearance, and from thence he led us that 
night to Mountmelick being about seaven miles. 

Wednesday 15 December. In the morning we went to one Daniel 
McDaniels house neare Mountmellick where was found a very 
Rich Vestment and other materials belonging to a priest, which 
vestments he seized on and gave into our custody where they 
still remain. We came from thence to Tullamore and rested, 
being distant some three miles from a Fryery upon which Mr. 
Geoghegan had a designe as he told us, but when we came thither 
all the fryers were gone and nothing to be found but a few bookes 
which he caused to be sold to Mr. Tharltori of Killiegh for fifteen 

Saturday 18th December. Wee came to the Lady Tuites house 
and that night having taken upp severall guides, we came to a 
Fryery which was well stored with Butter, Beefe, Beere, Come 
and other provisions but the fryers were all fledd away, and 
there Mr. Geoghegan caused our Guide to break open chests and 
Trunkes whereout as we judge he took 20 or 30 saying it was 
a free prize, and that if he could find out the poor he would give 
them the corne belonginge to the fryers. 

Throughout all this period none of the clergy, regular or 
secular, were pursued with such ferocity as those "exercising 
ecclesiastical jurisdiction by authority of the Pope of Rome" that 
is to say archbishops, bishops, and vicars-general. Hence we are 
able to trace the fortunes of most of the rulers of the Irish church 
in the government correspondence. 

Philip Draycot, parish priest of Drogheda and vicar-general 
of Armagh, was arrested early in December 1678. 



Upon perusal of the Certificate from you dated the 5th Instant 
December concearning one Philip Dracott who is reported to 
have been a Jesuite and to have excommunicated persons in the 

74 REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued}. 

town of Drogheda, you are to inquire whether he be a Jesuit 
or belonging to any order, meanwhile he is to continue in gaol 
and is not to be permitted hereafter to celebrate mass within 
the garrison of Drogheda. 

He evidently satisfied the authorities he was not a Jesuit and 
was released. November 10th however of the following year the 
House of Lords again ordered his arrest. His fellow vicar sub- 
sequently shared the same fate. 


We require you to cause diligent search to be made for Dr. Hughes 
a Popish Priest, that he be apprehended and secured and con- 
veyed a prisoner to this city. 

The Vicar-Apostolic of Derry and Raphoe was amongst the 
first seized. 


Your letters received. As to that particular relating to the letters 
or papers which may be found with Plunket the titular vicar 
generall or superior in the County of Londonderry, and the other 
popish clergy mentioned in your said letters, you are to make 
a list of them and any of consequence to be sent to this Board. 

Sir John Davis, secretary to the Council, early in January, 
1679, sent to the Bishop of Raphoe a transportation order with 
the instructions. 

Send inclosed with all the speede you can together with Luke 
Plunket mentioned in it unto the sheriffs of Londonderry who 
are to putt in execution the contents of it. 

It was not, however, always easy to ascertain who were or 
were not exercising ecclesiastical jurisdiction. Even when the 
services of some unfrocked friar or suspended priest were to be had, 
the resources of theology were used to outwit the law. If for 
instance, the priests elected their own superior, could he be said 
to exercise foreign jurisdiction ? Or could a meeting of the clergy 
be deemed treasonable when government was notified and their 
representative invited to be present ? The case of Bernard McGorke, 
Dean of Armagh, was long a sore trial to the magistrates, to the 
High Sheriff, Lord Massareene, the Protestant bishops and Ormond 
himself. When it was first submitted to the English Privy Council 
Sir Leoline Jenkins, Secretary of State, replied (21st January, 
1682), "Currat lex." The law took its course; at the Spring 

REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued}. 75 

Assizes of Armagh McGorke was tried "for extolling foreign juris- 
diction" and acquitted. The subsequent proceedings appear 
from the following: 

This day Bryan McGuirke and three priests came here to acquaint 
me that McGuirke who is styled Vicar General of the Irish Papist 
clergy in Ulster appointed a meeting of his clergy at an ale-house 
near my house upon Friday next, and McGuirke told me that 
my Lord Lieutenant allowed them so to meet in order to the 
governing of their clergy but directed them to apply themselves 
to the next Justice to acquaint him of such meeting when he 
might send some to see and observe their carriage etc. 


My advice is that you send for the said Bryan McGorke and require 
him first to shew any order he hath or may pretend to have 
from the Government ; next that you demand of him what 
discharge he hath upon his last trial at Armagh assizes ; next 
demand what certificate he hath of good and sufficient bail. 
If you find authentic and good certificates of these you need 
take none new. Send me the names of all both regular and 
secular priests that may be at the meeting you speak of, and 
do not let the regulars go till you have good bail. 

Arran, lord deputy (to whom Massereene enclosed the fore- 
going for advice) sent a furious reply (30th May). 

I find that Rowley is a Justice of the Peace but withal that he 
has not acted as the duty of his place required, for he knows or 
ought to know that there is a proclamation for apprehending all 
regular priests and a reward promised those that shall bring in 
any, and I hope that gentleman is not so ignorant but he knows 
that a Vicar General is one. Therefore if he does not secure 
that Bryan McGorke who he says told him my Lord Lieutenant 
allowed him to have a meeting in order to the governing of the 
clergy, I will look upon him as an asperser of the Government 
and will proceed with him accordingly. I do not altogether 
approve of your letter in answer to his. I am sure your Lord- 
ship knows that bail ought not to be taken for such contemners 
of his Majesty's authority as do stay here contrary to the 

A few weeks later Massereene writes in extenuation that he 
has got McGorke in custody, though the Justices at first were 
reluctant to arrest him as he exhibited his discharge at the Armagh 
assizes. He enclosed an examination of McGorke taken before 
himself and Sir George Rawdon 14th June, 1682. 

76 REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued}. 

Being examined why he did not upon the proclamation against 
all regular priests and friars, leave the kingdom, he says he is 
not intended in the same ; that when Luke Plunket the former 
superintendent of the priests in the diocese of Londonderry, 
who was also Vicar General was transported upon the said pro- 
clamation, the priests of that place desired the Exanimate to 
come to them and oversee them and be their superintendent 
or arbiter ; but that the Examinate is no regular, that he is 
no friar but hath some sustentation from the rest of the priests 
of the diocese of Londonderry. He says he knew Mr. Black's 
house in the county of Armagh, and that he was several times 
with Oliver Plunket who used to meet there and at Kinard about 
five or six years ago. Being examined if he the Examinate 
were titular Deane of Armagh saith that he was tried and ex- 
amined before about that, and was acquitted and will not answer 
more to that matter. 

Being demanded how they had the confidence to go to the Justices 
and acquaint them of their meetings saith that he hath been a 
priest these twenty-two years, and that he knows it is always 
the custom for priests upon their meetings to send notice to the 
next Justices thereof. And being demanded what he said before 
Mr. Rowley the first time he came to him, saith that he desired 
to see three or four priests that were thereabouts, and if it were 
not displeasing to him that the Examinate would meet them 
there at an ale-house near Mr. Rowley's house ; and saith that 
one of the chief reasons why he said so to Mr. Rowley was that 
he was afraid that some of the priests might falsely inform 
against him (the Examinate) if there were no Protestants among 
them at their meetings to hear what they said. And further 
saith that he spoke to Mr. Rowley to this purpose that there is 
nothing contrary to the proclamation in this business, and that 
if his worship saw there were anything against law in it that he 
(the Examinate) would give it over ; that Mr. Rowley said how 
can that be but it is against the Proclamation. Then the Ex- 
aminate answered that he was a superior or superintendent of 
the priests' making, and that it was told the Exanimate that 
his Grace the Lord Lieutenant upon a doubt or petition proposed 
to his Grace whether those superiors or superintendents made 
by the priests are under the lash of the Proclamation or not, 
his Grace answered that they were not as Dr. Cusack told this 
Examinate. The Examinate further saith that Dr. Cusack also 
told him that my Lord Lieutenant was of the opinion it was 
better that the Popish priests of every diocese should make 
one of themselves superior over them than to have none at all ; 
that the said Doctor is of the county of Meath, a secular priest, 
and that it was at Drogheda about two years ago and more that 
the Examinate heard it from the said Doctor. The Examinate 
further saith that he the Examinate hath not the English tongue 

REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued). 77 

well, and if anything have dropped from his mouth before Mr. 
Rowley or now (he not being able to express his mind fitly in 
English) he "hopes that no advantage on that account will be 
taken against him. 

This put a new complexion upon matters, since Cusack, 
the bishop of Meath, was an acquaintance of Ormond. Arran 
contented himself with referring the case to the judges going 
circuit. McGorke though acquitted at the assizes continued in 
jail for another year. 


That Maguirke whom your Excellency mentions was sent to Lifford 
jail for being titular Dean of Armagh and pretended Vicar 
Generall, and was by me bailed to the Assizes, he utterly dis- 
owning either title, and it being made appear before me that 
he has been already tried for the very same thing at the Assizes 
of Dungannon, Armagh and Monaghan and acquit at all, and 
that he is at this time bound by my Lord Massareene to appear 
at Derry assizes to answer the same charge. If after this any 
Justice there, is offended at his being bailed I doubt he would 
.show more zeal than he does understanding. If when a man is 
cleared in one county he must be in jail in the next for the same 
charge without bail, he may be fifteen years a prisoner ere he can 
be freed. For at two assizes in the year he cannot in less time 
go through the thirty counties of the kingdom. After all I 
believe this Maguirke a great rogue, but if he were a devil he 
must have right. Docherty is not said to be a regular no more 
than he, his charge is acting under Maguirke, and I thought 
he was to be bailed of consequence. 

There were only two bishops in Ulster, Tyrrell of Clogher and 
the Primate Plunket. Their presence was long connived at. The 
dismissal however of Shaftesbury from the Privy Council in October 
1679, stimulated him and his faction to new activity. The results 
we learn in a letter from Ormond to Coventry, 30th October. 

I received yours of the 21st of this month with the enclosed infor- 
mation and by that night's post sent orders to the fittest persons 
I could think of to search for and apprehend the two persons 
named in the information and shall give like orders concerning 
some others of the same degree and profession [i.e. Catholic 
bishops] as soon as I can have probable notice whereabouts 
they are harboured. I do not know of above seven or eight 
men of that sort in the kingdom and I think I can guess which 
of them are most like to have signed the paper of recommenda- 

78 REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued). 

tion, if any such there was. But in case any of them shall be 
taken I doubt it will be hard to discover by them whether there 
was really any such paper signed by them or no. 

The following will show the steps taken for the capture of the 
two bishops. 


It would be an extraordinary service to the King and of great 
advantage to me that Oliver Plunket, the titular Primate, and 
Tyrrell, the titular Bishop of Clogher, might be apprehended ; 
and therefore it is that I recommend it to your utmost care and 
diligence presuming that no man can be more like to effect it 
than yourself ; and the better to enable you I give you liberty 
to engage me for any reasonable reward to any that shall dis- 
cover them or any of them to you, so as they may be taken or 
any one of them. The thing is of more than ordinary importance 
and therefore let me once more recommend it to your best 


Your Grace's of the 28th of October I received, in obedience to 
which I will leave no means unattempted to obey your com- 
mands, I am confident if David Fitzgerald [i.e. Plunket] comes 
to this country I shall hear of it. But I was about four days 
ago told by a popish priest who some days before had gotten 
induction to a parish from him, that he had left him at a certain 
place within seven miles of Dublin ; that he had cut off his beard 
and hair and had got a light coloured wig and went by a feigned 
name which I have forgot for then I had not your Grace's com- 
mands. I have sent for the same priest and will get by discovery 
from him the name of the place he resided in then and for several 
weeks before and will by the next give your Grace an account 
of all. I am confident he keeps much, if not in Dublin, yet 
near it, I assure your Grace if he comes within his own pretended 
diocese I shall meet with him. I have laid out also for Tyrrell 
who if in this country [Co. Armagh] or Cavan will also be found. 
But his absconding places I know not so well as the others. 


Since my last I met the priest I mentioned whom I told I had a 
desire to send a letter to Doctor Fitzgerald [Plunket] in favour 
of the parish priest of the parish I live in [Carlingf ord] whom the 
said Doctor was turning out if I might know where to send it 
to him. He told me that I (sic.) was confident that it would 
find him at the place he left him at, which is an ancient lady's 
house hi a castle about a mile and a half from the Naul, near 
or in the road from Naul to Dublin, but could not remember 

REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued}. 79 

the lady's name. He told me that I must direct my letter to 
Mr. Meleady near the Naul (for he goes by that name). It is 
possible he may be there still, unless he have been alarmed 
from Dublin. I am resolved to send my parish priest with a 
letter about his own concern to find him out, for such can best 
do it ; but I have laid out all his haunts in the whole diocese 
so that I am confident that he shall not come thither but your 
Grace shall have a good account of him. I have also laid for 
him in the Co. Donegal where he often lies quiet at a Papists 
house of my name. 

Hamilton's clerical acquaintance whether wittingly or not was 
the means of locating the Primate ; for on 6th December notwith- 
standing his disguise he was captured in Dublin. Ormond at once 
acquainted Secretary Coventry whose assistant, Henry Thynn, 
replied, 16th December. 

Mr. Secretary being seized by the gout, commands me to acquaint 
your Grace of his receipt of yours of the 7th, which tells him 
of the seizure of Oliver Plunket but that you would forbear 
examining him till you had received his Maiesties orders. Mr. 
Secretary commands me to tell your Grace that he knows no 
other evidence against him than what has already been sent to 
your Grace ; but that you may (if your Grace thinks fit) examine 
him upon any points that you judge most material for a further 

Dr. Patrick Tyrrell however evaded his pursuers and after a 
year's unsuccessful search Owen Murphy, one of the agents employed 
to procure evidence, pretended that Tyrrell would come in and 
betray the Plot if offered a safe conduct. 

Whereas information is given unto us by Owen Murphy that he 
understands one Tyrrell titular Bishop of Clogher can and is 
willing to discover the late Popish Plot to raise Rebellion against 
his Maiestie and his Government in this kingdom if he may have 
a protection to come in and give an account thereof to us. We 
do therefore take the said Tyrrell into his Maiesties protection 
for one month from the date hereof notwithstanding any pro- 
clamation commanding all Popish Bishops etc. We require all 
Mayors etc. to suffer the said titular Bishop Tyrrell quietly to 
come to Dublin and there remain to perfect the service above 
mentioned and to return into any part of the kingdom within 
the time granted him. ORMOND, 5 January 1680-1. 

As Tyrrell had no information to give, he thought the glens 
of Monaghan and Down afforded better security than any Ormond 
could offer. He judged rightly though he was long in jeopardy. 

80 REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued). 


It is thought fitt at this Board that the letters directed to Edmund 
Rely prisoner in the Gaole of Cavan from Patrick Tyrrell be 
returned to you and that you examine Rely whether he doth 
know the said Tyrrell and of what calling or profession he is 
and if a clergyman whether he bee a Bishopp and of what place 
he bears his title and whether the titular Bishopp of Clogher be 
called Tyrrell. You are likewise to examine the said Rely 
concerning the great pacquett of letters said to be conveyed out 
of the Gaole. 

The results of the inquiry do not appear, but it may be observed 
that O'Reilly was vicar-general of Kilmore diocese under Tyrrell 
its administrator, and that the missing packet would have afforded 
damning evidence of his exercising ecclesiastical jurisdiction. 

The Carte Papers give many glimpses of the saintly Arch- 
bishop Plunket. Four days after his arrest Ormond wrote that 
as the charge made by Hetherington was unsupported, he forbore 
examining the primate. Secretary Coventry replied December 
23rd, 1679. 

We have nothing since or more of it [the charge against Plunket] 
than what I wrote you formerly ; so that unless his papers 
discover some further grounds I doubt little will be got from 
him. But if your Grace think fitting to try him with any 
questions, it is left to your discretion and may possibly have the 
effect of making him believe we know more than we do, and 
beget some fear of continuing such kind of negociations [i.e. the 
alleged negociations with France.] And his very being in Ireland 
after the proclamation may sufficiently justify imprisonment and 
if need be a further prosecution. 

Ormond again wrote to Coventry 10th April, 1680. 

You may remember upon what information the titular Primate 
was apprehended and other Popish Bishops sought for, and 
that I gave you notice of the apprehension of the Primate, who 
has ever since lain in the Castle for no other reason (know.n to 
him or to any other but myself here) than his presuming to stay 
here in contempt of the proclamation. I have forborne hitherto 
to have him examined in expectation of some further light into 
the matter which is of such a nature that he will certainly deny 
his having any part in it, and then we shall want anything 
wherewith to convince him or draw any acknowledgement from 
him that may lead towards a discovery of the truth. I put 
you now again in mind of this affair because the person [Hether- 
ington] from whom the first notice came is returned into England. 

REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued}. 81 

Meanwhile, however, unknown to Ormond a network of testi- 
*mony was being woven round the Primate. Hetherington with 
two others, Bradley and Atterbury, had been sent over by 
Shaftesbury to work up evidence in support of Hetherington 's 
story that Plunket and the Irish bishops were engaged in intrigues 
with France. Arriving in Ireland in March, 1680, they got into 
communication with Edmund Murphy, formerly parish priest of 
Killevy and precentor of Armagh, but then upon his keeping for 
having escaped from Dundalk gaol (where he was awaiting trial 
as a highwayman). The next witness they obtained was John 
Moyer (or Macmoyer) a friar who some years before had been 
cast out of his order, and was now a drunken vagabond. There 
were two others formerly parish priests in Armagh diocese, but 
long in disgrace Callaghan and Tinan (or Heenan). The whole 
party proceeded to London where on 7th May a special Council 
was summoned to take their evidence. Ormond in a letter to 
Ossory had previously given his opinion of the witnesses. 

The discoveries now on foot in the north and west of this kingdom 
can come to nothing by reason of the extravagant villany and 
folly of the discoverers who are such creatures that no schoolboy 
would trust them with a design for the robbing of an orchard. 
My Lord of Essex's tool [Moyer] is a silly drunken vagabond 
that cares not for hanging a month hence if in the meantime 
he may solace himself with brandy and tobacco. Murphy is all 
out as debauched but a degree wiser than the other. The other 
fellow brought by my Lord of Shaftesbury to the Council 
[Hetherington] broke prison being in execution and now the 
sheriff or gaoler are sued for the debt. This is their true char- 
acter but perhaps not fit for you to give of them. 

On May 16th he writes of the archbishop : 

With yours of the 8th I received a summary of what was deposed 
by those the messengers carried hence ; the next will I suppose 

bring us all they can say more at large with some directions 
to me what to do, if more be to be done. The titular Primate 
accused by them is not no more above them in gifts of nature 
than he ought by his place to be, and I hardly doubt so much, 
his life is I confess much more churchmanlike. This character 
I believe my Lord of Essex will concur with me in, his lordship 
having had much more conversation with him than I (&). 

(k) Moyer after his suspension had denounced Dr. Plunket to Essex 
then Lord Lieutenant for exercising foreign jurisdiction. 


82 REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued}. 

But with the English Privy Council, the character of the 
witnesses was only dust in the balance. They having put their 
informations in writing (their language was not intelligible) set out 
for Ireland on the 14th May. The informations were returned 
to Ormond, who was ordered to bring Plunket at once to trial. 
As the treasonable acts with which the Primate was charged, 
were alleged to have been committed in the neighbourhood of 
Carlingford, the venue was laid in Dundalk, 21st June. This filled 
the approvers with consternation, for Moyer and Murphy were 
wanted in Dundalk on several charges, while the character of all 
four was notorious in the locality. Moyer wrote to Hetherington 
1st June. 

You know Sir you trobbled both mee and my company with f aithfull 
promises of our safety, yett being now dischardged to prosecute 
after a fortnight that perverse Crumwell Oliver [Plunket] he 
prevails so much that in recompensation [i.e. revenge] of the 
discovery of -his wicked Shifts, he authorized Dr. Hughes to 
cause that Gentleman Fr. Owen O 'Donnelly to take possession 
of Fr. James Callaghan's parish, one priest Hagan in Edmund 
Murphy's, another unto Fr. Tinan's. As for my part I am 
excluded and dijected by all the world. I understand this Dr. 
Hughes that he may the better act against us, by a cunning 
way got some order under my Lord Lieutenant's hand, deceaving 
his Grace by surreptitious informations. We understand that 
immediately after this man's Tryall, we shall likewise be tryed 
by the Common Law, which if so, you know by this grudge of 
Oliver's confactionists there shall not be wanting people that 
will sweare against us, as he found heretofore, alledging it to be 
highly meretorious to put such maledicted members against his 
holiness to death. 

Again Moyer writes to Hetherington 2nd July : 

Deer friend, make all the speede you can especially now when all 
our enemyes every where are in an uprore understanding that 
Dr. Plunket is to be tryed shortly. Yet they are much com- 
forted knowing undoubtedly that he is to be transmitted to 
Dundalk where he has all his strong friends and faction and 
many that would undergo any death or danger to save his life 
least they should be hindered of what they wickedly did intend. 
I petitioned the last Council day to his Grace for a Protection, 
which was granted, and that Dr. Plunket should stand his trial 
in Dublin where the King's evidences would be more bold to 
appear. Of that I got no answer. Work imediately to procure 

REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued). 83 

an order from his Maiestie to cause the said Dr. Plunket to be 
kept in Dublin and there to be putt to Tryall. 

Moyer however and his partners need have no fear ; the 
promoters of the Popish Plot knew their business too well. Jones, 
bishop of Meath, writes 1st June, to Colonel Maunsell, a cashiered 
officer now in the service of Shaftesbury. 

Edmund Murphy a popish priest whose place of residence was 
in the Tory Quarters so as advantage was taken against him 
by one Baker and Smith living about Dundalk whereby to charge 
him with corresponding with Toryes. His having before charged 
them in like manner their interests prevailing so as to cast the 
poore man into prison when he was to have been tryed the last 
Assizes at Dundalk and had undoubtedly perished had he not 
seasonably escaped and put himself under the protection of 
Government as a prosecutor against the Popish Primate, Plunket. 
That which is herein desired is that his condition be presented to 
the King for his pardon, in which I am concerned as being to 
mee recommended lately by that honourable Lord and worthy 
patriot the Earle of Shaftsbury. 

Ormond comments on this pretty story in a letter to Ossory 
20th July. 

The Bishop is not only a spitefull but false Informer, where he says 
that Murphy was prosecuted after he had accused Baker and 
Smith, the cleare contrary is the truth to the Bishop's know- 

But all the same Murphy's pardon came. In his second 
move the bishop was not so successful. 


If Oliver Plunket the Titular Primat be tryed at the Assizes at 
Dundalk which hee and his favourers earnestly endeavour, all 
that business will probably come to nothing. That assizes is 
I hear on the 21st. Therefore must expedition be for orders to 
have the Tryall to be at Dublin the next Tearm where the King's 
Counsell may attend which will be wanting at Dundalk. 


I doubt that the orders for hindering Oliver Plunket the titular 
Primate's tryall at Dundalke will come late ; for the Assizes 
will be on the 22nd and the Judges were yesterday on their way 
thither. The Judges were Baron Hartstong and Justice Cusack. 
I doubt that few of the witnesses or evidence for the King will 
appeare there, partly not being themselves (they think) secured 
and chiefly doubting the issue of the Tryall in that place. Mr. 

84 REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued}. 

Lyndon is ordered to appear on that occasion as the King's 
Counsel to manage the evidence which would have been done 
by better hands on a Tryall at the King's Bench heere if that 
had been. I only recommended the business to Baron Hartstong's 
care as that on which all eyes are open. 

The bishop's forecast proved true, he had probably taken 
steps to ensure it ; for none of the witnesses appeared and the 
trial was adjourned. Two days later the English Privy Council 
on the application of Murphy and Hetherington recommended 
Ormond to have the trial at the King's Bench in Dublin. The 
next steps taken by the Shaftesbury agents are shown in the 
following : 


At the Council Board [London] Friday last, the two main things 
insisted upon was by what order were the Examinations taken 
at that Board copied, and copyes delivered to Primate Plunket. 
Also by whose order was the safe conduct granted for 300 of the 
Romish clergy to assemble at the Assizes at Dundalk. By 
Saturday's post last I am sure that your Lord Lieutenant received 
a reprimand. 


I understand by my Lord President Radnor that the tryall of 
Primate Plunket in England is mightily opposed by the Lord 
Lieutenant, or rather by the said Plunket, aJledging that it is 
against law that any man for an offence comitted in Ireland 
should be tryed in England. My Lord President desired that 
I would get it under the hands of able Councell the precedents, 
and then he will move the King for to have the tryall here. 

The precedents were duly made out, and the Lords of the 
Council, 6th October, directed Plunket should be sent over. 
Accordingly he sailed on 24th, reaching London five days later. 
On 4th November and subsequently he appeared before the Com- 
mittee of Examinations. The impression which he made is 
described by two of Ormond's correspondents. Lord Arran 
writing 6th November : 

Thursday and this day were taken up by the House of Lords in 
examining the witnesses concerning the Irish Plot. Murphy 
was the first examined and was the only witness that reflected 
upon you. One part was that the titular Primate told him he 
received money from you, which question being asked Plunket 
he utterly denied and said he had less encouragement from you 

REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued). 85 

than the two former Chief Governors Lord Berkeley and Essex. 
Which I observed Lord Essex did not like. Another thing was 
that one Father Ronan Maginn would have made a discovery 
to you as the said Maginn told him, but you instead of hearken- 
ing to him, got him sent beyond sea where he died. He 
complained also of your usage in relation to Smith and Baker. 
David Fitzgerald gave great satisfaction to the House and was 
heard with more attention than anybody except Plunket who 
went beyond our expectation. 

Lord Longford is more detailed. 

Plunket has deceived all men living, for he told his tale with modesty 
and confidence enough, and without any manner of hesitation 
or consternation. When he was asked in the presence of Mr. 
Murphy whether he had not told him that your Grace had given 
him money, he denied it positively, and said he was so far from 
receiving money or any kindness from your Grace that he had 
received far less kindness and civility from your Grace than 
from the two precedent Governors my Lord Berkeley and my 
Lord of Essex, who had both given him money and been very 
king and civil to him, and it was unlikely he should tell Murphy 
your Grace had given him money if it had been so because he 
knew him to be his professed enemy for depriving him of his 
parish in which he lived scandalously, and corresponded with 
the Tories. In fine he told his story with such plainness and 
simplicity that he left an impression with the Lords to his ad- 

Yet their lordships two days later refused to read the Primate's 

Petitioner being very ancient and subject to divers infirmities, 
has great want of his servant [James McKenna] to attend him. 
Petitioner for the most part lived in Ireland upon the benevolence 
of others, and being brought to Dundalk last July where his 
trial was put off for want of sufficient proof, and having spent 
there his small stock providing severall witnesses for the defence 
of his innocence and for his own relief, he was ever since main- 
tained and also brought hither upon his Maiesties charges. 
Prays to be allowed his servant and to be maintained upon his 
Majesty's charge during his imprisonment. 

The "servant" we may safely assume was his confessor. On 
10th November some insight is afforded into the motives which 
actuated the "witnesses for the King." 

Captain Richardson Governor of Newgate informed the House 
that Plunket desired to come to the Bar to make discoveries. 

86 REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued). 

. . . . Plunket on being brought and asked what he had 
to discover, said he had never written to any French Messieurs. 
He had had no transaction with Mr. Molune (I) except letters 
of civility. Earl Essex asked him if he were not with Mr. Molune 
he confessed he had [been] : it was to make Plunket and the 
other bishops of Ireland friends. Being asked if he knew not 
of any conspiracies, he said he knew something of it ; that 
about a hundred times he was threatened to be killed. If 
he did prosecute the Tories, his life [was] being aimed at ; he 
mistrusted that there was a plot against the English. 

The Primate in truth was caught between the upper and the 
nether millstones. Government held him (in common with other 
ecclesiastics) responsible for the actions of the Tories in his diocese. 
On the other hand the Tories, who included some of his own de- 
graded priests, threatened his life at the least interference with 
them. Now in the strange welter both the Government and the 
Tories were united to compass his ruin. Tories therefore were 
being eagerly sought for as witnesses, pardons and rewards being 
freely offered. Negociations were opened even with Redmond 
O'Hanlon the leader of the Ulster Outlaws, upon whose head 200 
had been set. We find in correspondence with him at one and the 
same time, the Protestant bishops of Meath and Clogher, a bishop's 
daughter and a bishop's son-in-law. But O'Hanlon spurned the 
offers. Owen Murphy therefore came over from England and 
fortified with orders from the two privy councils, organised a whole 
battalion of testimony. "There came the other day," Arran 
acquaints Ormond from London, 22nd January, 1681, "about 
twenty-five witnesses out of Ireland under the conduct of Owen 
Murphy." The end therefore was not far off. Though the West- 
minster Grand Jury on 12th February ignored the bill owing to the 
prevarication of the witnesses (m), and though these witnesses 
"split" upon one another, the Shaftesbury party were determined 
to carry through the Irish Plot. Three days before the trial, one 
of the witnesses brought over deposed : 

This Informant, Eustace Comine sayeth that William Hetherington 

(/) Dr. Moloney, Bishop of Killaloe, of whom infra. 

(m) "The foreman of the ]ury told me they contradicted one another 
so evidently, that they would not find the bill." Burnet, History of His 
own Times, pp. 502-3. 

REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued). 87 

told him severall times that those witnesses were not materiall 
witnesses to take away any man's life if they would get but 
right law. George Coddan told this Informant severall times 
that he had no material witness [evidence] against Doctor Oliver 
Plunkett or nobody else [has]. That he had received moneys 
from the treasury to go home, and his pass ; he was stopped by 
some persons invention, is in town yet and he got more money 
from the treasury to bear false witness against some of his 
Majesty's true subjects. Harry O'Neil, a gentleman, and his 
two sons was stopped to swear against Doctor Oliver Plunkett 
and he and his two sons told this Informant severall times that 
they had no materiall witness against the said Plunkett. This 
young man Owen Moore told this informant that it was a thousand 
pittys to take Kayes or Knowls that was witnes, their word ; 
that the only [means] that they depend upon to get their pardon 
[is] to swear false oaths. The two priests that were lately sent 
for Ireland told this Informant that it was a pity to believe any 
of these evidences, that it is clear they that was sworn [would 
be] brought to any good calling here should they know of any 
plot. This Informant sayeth that he is afraid of his life of 
Doctor Oates and Mr. Finch their vile invention, and begged 
his honour to secure them to the peace until such time as they 
will be judged before right law (n). 
Endorsed. Mr. Eustace Comynge, reed. 3 June 81. 

No notice of course was taken of this, some official subse- 
quently adding "His nonsensical information designed to prove 
there were but rascally suborned evidence against Oliver Plunket 
who was executed in England." The Primate therefore was 
brought to "trial" on 8th June and sentenced to be executed at 
Tyburn the 1st July. In the interval he made a last appeal to 
the King. 

To the King's Most Excellent Majesty. 

The Humble Petition of Oliver Plunkett a condemned Prisoner 
in Newgate. 

Sheweth. That your Petitioner on the sixth day of May last 
imediately after his arraignment sent two messengers into 
Ireland to bring over severall witnesses for your Petitioner's 
tryall on the 8th instant but through crosse winds they could 
not get to Dublin till the 19th following and the witnesses being 
dispersed in divers remote Countyes in Ulster and Leinster 
they could not possibly be gathered together in so short a time. 
That your Petitioner could not send for the said Witnesses before 
his arraignment, secondly because he was assured by severall 

(n) Difficult to decypher and obscure, but sense given. 

88 REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued). 

eminent Lawyers in Ireland that by Law he could not be tryed 
in this kingdom for crimes supposed to have been committed 
there. That notwithstanding your Maiesties Court of King's 
Bench unexpectedly overruled your Petitioner's plea without 
allowing his Councell to argue this point or granting him com- 
petent time (considering the accidents of wind and weather 
and distance of place) to bring over his witnesses. That your 
Petitioner being unexpectedly brought to his tryall destitute of 
all means to make his just defence and exposed naked to the 
malice of his accusers, desired only twelve days time for his 
witnesses to come over but was denyed by the Court alleageing 
it was only a pretence to gaine further time though your Petitioner 
protested and still protests before God it was no trick nor sham 
to evade or prolong his tryall but the reall truth of his case, 
there being severall witnesses ready to come over as appears 
by the Annexed Affidavit who would plainly make out the 
falsehood of the allegations of your Petitioners accusers and 
that their chief reason to swear against your Petitioner was his 
severity against them for their debauched and vicious lives and 
particularly for their corresponding with Toryes and proclaimed 
Outlaws in Ulster. 

Your Petitioner therefore most humbly prayeth that your Maiestie 
may be graciously pleased in tender comiseration of your 
Petitioner's hard circumstances and unpresidented tryall to 
mitigate the vigour of Justice with your accustomed clemency 
and grant your Petitioner some respite of time till his case be 
further inquired into. And likewise to order that the Lord 
Lieutenant and Councill in Ireland to examine the witnesses, 
Records and Papers there materiall for your Petitioner's justi- 
fication and make their Report thereupon to your Maiestie 
that it may appear how just and reasonable it is to pardon or 
reprieve your Petitioner and that your Petitioner's misfortune 
may never be made a leading case for others. 

And your Petitioner (as in duty bound) shall ever pray etc. 


The Humble Petition of Oliver Plunkett. 


John Plunkett maketh Oath before me that he this Deponent 
together with James MacKenna were sent by Oliver Plunkett 
now prisoner in New Gate, into Ireland to bring over witnesses 
for the said Oliver's tryall and accordingly this Deponent and 
the sayd James MacKenna went into severall Countyes in Ireland 
to bring the sayd witnesses to Dublin in order to their taking 
shipping there for England and to be present at the tryall of 
the sayd Oliver Plunkett at Westminster. Namely this Deponent 
went into the County of Meath for Edmund ffay Gentleman and 
into the County of Lowth for Anthony Murray, Paule Neale, 
James Doorgan, and Cornelius Tully and brought them to 

REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued}. 89 

Dublin but after coming thither they changed their minds and 
would by noe means come with this Deponent into England tho' 
he offered them their charges, vntill he had procured them his 
Maiesties Pass for their safe Egress and Regress. And the said 
James MacKenna sent and went himself into other places and 
Countyes for other witnesses who this Deponent believeth will 
be ready to come for England if they may have a Pass and 
competent time for comeing. And this Deponent doth veryly 
believe in his conscience that the Testimony of the aforesaid 
Witnesses is very materiall for the said Oliver Plunkett's Defence 
for that some of them told this Deponent that one Moyer now 
in London writt to his friends in Ireland inviting them to England 
to forsweare themselves and then they would gett the said 
Oliver Plunkett's head cutt off and the Irish plott would be 
carryed on and they should gett money enough. He also sayeth 
that he heard that the said Moyer stands convicted of Record 
for corresponding with Toryes and Outlaws in Ireland and 
also William Hetherington and one Murphy are indicted for the 
same crimes, the Coppyes of which Records and Indictments 
this. Deponent believeth will be produced upon the tryall of the 
said Oliver Plunkett. This Deponent further sayeth that one 
ffay above named told this Deponent that the said Hetherington 
and another being in Dundalk Gaole for the aforesaid crimes, 
he invented and contrived the crimes and matters now charged 
upon the said Oliver Plunkett. He the said ffay being at the 
same time a Prisoner with them and the said Hetherington gott 
out of prison upon the account of charging the said Oliver Plunkett 
to be concerned in the Irish plott and offered the said ffay gold 
and silver to side with him and swear what he should dictate 
to him against the said Oliver Plunkett. And the said ffay 
told this Deponent that he would produce the Messenger that 
Hetherington imployed to him upon that account at the tryall 
of the said Oliver Plunkett. 
7 June 1681. JOHN PLUNKET. 

Charles might easily have satisfied himself of the innocence 
of the condemned man. He had at his elbow two past Lords 
Lieutenant, Berkeley and Essex, each of whom from personal 
knowledge could have testified to the peaceful character and 
sanctity of his life. But cowed by the Parliament and the Shaftes- 
bury conspirators, the King did not lift a finger. For he had no 
desire to set out upon his travels again. 

In Connaught when the majority of the gentry from Clanrickard 
down were still Catholic, the bishops and vicars-general were able 
to obtain more protection than in the other provinces. Though 

90 REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued). 

a reward of 200 was offered for the apprehension of Dominick 
Burke, bishop of Elphin, he lay for months together in a lonely 
house and managed to make his visitations by night, safe in the 
loyalty of the people. Thady Keogh, bishop of Clonfert, was 
sheltered by Lord Clanrickard in whose family he had been chap- 
lain (o). Others were not so fortunate the warden of Galway, 
for instance. 


14 MAY 1680. 

You having lately apprehended one Doctor Joyce who pretends 
to be a secular priest, which you seem to be doubtful! of, are 
to inform yourself. If a Regular he is to be kept in custody etc. 



Having received information from the Lord Vicount Clare that 
Lynch Titular Bishop of Kilfenoragh who among others is to 
depart this kingdom, is now at the said Lord Clare's mother's 
house and is aboute foure score and three yeare of age and so 
decrepit as hee is scarce able to leave his bedd. For our better 
information we require you to send some fitting person to visit 
the said Lynch and give us a particular account. 

The particular account resulted in the poor old man's ship- 
ment to France in the depth of winter. There a mendicant in the 
diocese of Rouen he died shortly after. His vicar-general was 
subsequently pursued. 


After our hearty commendations etc. Having lately received 
information that one Dennis O'Dae Priest of the Parish of 
Kellfenora in the County of Clare had ordered a fast to be kept 
by the Inhabitants of the Parish of Killalaugh contrary to law, 
you are hereby ordered to apprehend him and proceed against 
him according to law. 

If the Irish church furnished the noblest examples of heroic 
endurance, it was on the other hand, saddened by many a scandal. 


I thought it my duty to acquaint your Grace that one Paul Higgin 
a priest of the Romish church and lately a vicar general in the 
diocese of Killala is now with me and hath left that church and 

(o) O'Heyne, Irish Dominicans, pp. 196-7. 

REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued). 91 

come to ours. I have known him ever since I was in Connaught 
and have discoursed and disputed with him. He is of an un- 
questionable conversation and of much more learning than 
generally their -priests are, though I believe not of more than 
a man may well bear. He is very poor and if your Grace should 
think fit to allow him some pension till something might be 
gotten for him, it might encourage others to come in. I hear 
that there is a salary in the [Trinity] college for one that can 
translate into Irish practical books of divinity Latin or English 
adequate to the understanding of the poorer Irish. He would 
be very fit for that. 

Oliver Plunket had been brought to the scaffold by some of 
his own priests ; his fellow metropolitan James Lynch, archbishop 
of Tuam, narrowly escaped a similar fate at the hands of an apostate 
Augustinian. According to Titus Gates' narrative, Peter Talbot 
and James Lynch were the heads of the Popish Plot in Ireland. 
Gates, preliminary to returning to England, was to be ordained a 
Jesuit by Lynch. "Item, for a watch" (read Gates from his 
accounts) "presented to the archbishop of Tuam when at Madrid 
81 10s." How Lynch came to be at Madrid and so worked into 
Gates' story appears from the following: 

Lords Committee of Examinations, 5 December 1678. 

May it please your Lordships. In obedience to your order I 
have (as well as I can recollect) reduced into writing the Infor- 
mations of one Martin French, an Augustine friar, against James 
Lynch the Roman archbishop of Tuam in the province of Con- 
naught, taken by me at Galway as Attorney General to his 
Majesty for the said province when the Lord Roberts had the 
government of that kingdom [1669] which followeth in these 
words, or to the same effect viz. the said James Lynch said 
to the Friar that King James declared himself a Roman Catholic 
under his hand and seal which Declaration was in the Consistory 
of Rome, till he came to the Crown of England when he employed 
one to corrupt the Register of that Consistory and take it out 
which being done he caused the person so employed to be poisoned, 
for which he [the King] hangs in Hell. The Friar said that 
King Charles the First was kind to them of the Catholic religion 
and did not put the Statutes in execution against them, and 
was a passionate lover of his Queen, a Roman Catholic, to which 
the said Bishop answered, Did he not die a heretic, and a declared 
enemy to the Catholic religion, for which he was righteously 
put to death ? Then the Friar saying that our King that now 
is was a very good natured prince and gave the Catholics great 
liberty. "He" says the Bishop "a good natured prince! He 

92 REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued). 

is worse than any of them. How many families has he starved 
and ruined who gave him bread when he was abroad !" "Well" 
says the Friar "however he is safe enough, he having an estab- 
lished army and guards to secure his person." To which the 
said Bishop replied "Do not mistake yourself, for there was 
one of them (which of those I am not certain) who intended to 
have his heart's blood, and if it were not for the barbarousness 
of it, would drink it when done." J. SHAD WELL, Jurat. 

The archbishop was put on trial Trinity term, 1671, on these 
and the further charge of exercising foreign jurisdiction. He was 
convicted of a premunire and sentenced to imprisonment and 
transportation. But the viceroy, Berkeley, being friendly, he was 
let out on bail. 


The first thing my Lord Berkeley spoke to me after his lordship's 
arrival was to ask me if I thought it not a malicious prosecution 
against the Archbishop and because I declared my thoughts it 
was not, he was very angry with me ; and the friar afterwards 
coming and making his application to him for some allowance 
in respect his party had wholly deserted him and no man came 
to him for masses or confessions, as they usually had done, his 
Lordship threatened him with imprisonment, so I kept him 
myself several months or he had been starved, of which charity 
to him I have since felt the inconveniency. 

French finding his occupation gone appealed to Oliver Plunket 
who interceded for him with Dr. Lynch and obtained his pardon. 
When the persecution was renewed under Lord Essex we discover 
him once more in his old role of informer. 


There is one Martin French a fryer who has been soe usefull to me 
both by privately giving me intelligence of all the proceedings 
of their clergy and by appearing sometimes and giving assistance 
to prosecute some of the Romish bishops that should I send 
him abroade as the Proclamation enjoins I am confident the 
poor man could not escape the Inquisition or goe with his life, 
which I look upon to be of so ill an example to all others who 
should be employed in this kind, as I would rather run the 
hazard than be guilty of doing anything prejudiciall to the King's 
service. I doe therefore desire you take care of him.- It will 
be his best course to keep somewhere neare you in the country. 
This lettre you are to keep secrett to yourselfe. 

REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued}. 93 

SAME TO SAME MAY 23 1674. 

Martin French is very usefull to me and hath lately given us good 
intelligence of the actings of priests and titular Bishopps in these 
parts. Having about a month since published a second pro- 
clamation for all Romish Titular Bishopps, Friars, etc, to depart. 
I now remind you of this Martin French to take care of him and 
see that no harm happen to him, I also desire you to give him 
ten pounds. You may do well to give the Mayor of Galway a 
hint of this man but it must be kept secret or otherwise he will 
not be able to furnish us with such intelligence as may be of 
advantage to me. 

A few months later on the information of French, Archbishop 
Lynch was captured and committed to Galway jail. There he 
lay until the second week of October when with a number of other 
ecclesiastics he was shipped for Spain. The friar rendered him 
unwitting service. Had he remained in Ireland and been arrested 
in the first frenzy of the Gates' plot, there can be little doubt he 
would have perished on the scaffold. His wretched persecutor 
remained to the end in the pay of government. Through some 
oversight the Council, 25th November, 1678, wrote to Sir Oliver 
St. George revoking permission for French to remain in the 
kingdom, and ordering his transportation with the other regulars 
detained in Galway. Shadwell, the recorder, made a direct appeal 
to Ormond setting forth his services. On 2nd December the 
Council Book contains the entry that Martin French, all proclama- 
tions to the contrary notwithstanding, is to be continued in the 
kingdom. But the unhappy man seems to have been in poor 
health. When in the same month the English House of Lords 
was investigating the Popish Plot and the charges made against 
Archbishop Lynch, French could only tell his story by Shadwell 
as proxy. 

As the subsidiary plot to the Gates' scheme had been success- 
ful in the north, so too the Shaftesbury agents found no difficulty 
in procuring evidence of Popish conspiracies in the south. John 
Macnamara, formerly a horse-stealer, came forward to prove that 
in Waterford Lord Tyrone was engaged in French intrigues, David 
Fitz Gerald a man of broken fortune, implicated Lord Brittas, 
Colonel Lacy, Sir Thomas Southwell and others in Limerick. The 
bishops as usual were deepest hi treason. Fitz Gerald swore : 

94 REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued}. 

About 1676 I saw Dr. Creagh titular bishop of Cork, who as Dr. 
Stritch [parish priest of Rathkeale] told me was then newly 
come from France and Rome. Bishop Mullowny soon after 
to]d me that they had more information about it (the foreign 
aid they were to receive by Dr. Creagh and others lately arrived) 
that the Pope had already granted the dispensation from 
allegiance and that France would faithfully perform its agreement. 

His confederate, Maurice Fitz Gerald, corroborated : 

In the winter of 1676 Captain Thomas Mac Inerina having returned 
from France and Flanders, there was a meeting at Colonel Pierce 
Lacy's house at Curra, whither came the Colonel, the Lord of 
Brittas, Dr. Molowny of Killaloe, Dr. Brennan of Waterford, 
Dr. Dooly of Limerick and two Jesuits whose names informant 
knows not. 

Accordingly renewed efforts were made to capture the bishops 
and other dignitaries who were known to be still in the country. 
John Brenane, archbishop of Cashel and administrator of Waterford, 
though figuring largely in the depositions of informers, found 
shelter at Kilcash and Thomastown castles. For Richard Butler, 
Ormond's younger brother, and George Mathew his half-brother, 
faoth staunch Catholics, ever befriended him. His vicar in the 
.administration of Waterford, Robert Power, was assigned a 
prominent part in the Popish Plot. In November, 1680, John 
McNamara gave evidence before a Committee of both Houses. 

In 1676 this Informant observed the tumultuous congregation of 
priests and friars who resorted to Knockhouse, a house of enter- 
tainment three miles westward of Waterford. He took 
extraordinary notice of it as being not a thing so usual, on so 
much that being in company with several of the said priests 
but especially with Deane Power who was next in dignity to 
the said Brenane this Informant began to inquire the reason 
of their meetings so public and frequent in time of persecution, 
the said Deane Power made answer that he would satisfy this 
Informant as to that next Patron day at Reisk, which happened 
to be upon the Lady Day following. Accordingly this Informant 
met at the place appointed. For the congregation being gathered 
together to confess and receive the Sacrament after the Popish 
manner, one Edmund Poore, a Jesuit, preached a sermon the 
substance of which was to let the congregation understand that 
they had an Indulgence from the Pope of Rome granted them, 
and liberty to eat flesh on Wednesday. But in the conclusion 
told them that there was a consideration for which so great a 

REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued). 95 

privilege was granted which the priest of every parish had orders 
to give in charge to his parishioners at the time of Confession. 
Sermon being .done the priests fell to the exercise of the main 
duty which was to confess the congregation. This informant 
being then one of the Religion made his confession to Deane 
Power. Now at the time of his confession the said Deane gave 
a charge as follows that he should not divulge to any person 
whatsoever upon pain of mortal sin and damnation. What he 
said imported that the aforesaid Indulgence and Liberty was 
granted upon this account that whosoever was in a capacity to 
help and assist the holy cause in the present designs might have 
the benefit of the foresaid Indulgence which was a pardon of 
sins for many years. He further added that the clergy of Ireland 
were to have the tythes accrued out of each parish with the 
glebes and monkslands, that the French King and the rest of 
the Pope's confederates, together with the assistance of his 
holiness the Pope, did intend immediately to invade the kingdoms 
of England and Ireland. 

Power seems to have eluded capture though Eustace Comyn, 
one of Shaftesbury's agents, was on his trail at Clonmel. 

Pierce Creagh, bishop of Cork and Cloyne, finding himself 
insecure owing to the efforts of the local magistracy, took refuge 
with his brother near Killaloe. Here early in March, 1680, through 
the treachery of a servant he was located by the Protestant bishop 
and arrested. 


The Primate has communicated letters from the Lord Bishop of 
Killaloe concerning one Pierse Creagh the titular bishop of Cork 
and Cloyne who was lately apprehended and sent to you in order 
to his transportation. We require of you that the said Peter 
Creagh be kept in safe custodie and not transported until further 

Meanwhile some new stories of Creagh's treason had come in, 
and on 13th April King was ordered to send the bishop under a 
good guard to Dublin. There was further investigation. 


We have received information that Pierse Creagh was harboured 
at the house of his brother John. We require you to bind the 
said John in good recognisances to appear before the Privy 
Council in Dublin within ten days. 

A medical certificate had been sent to Dublin that the bishop 
was unfit to travel. This was deemed unsatisfactory. 

96 REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued}. 


Whereas etc. Notice was taken that they were Popish Phisitians 
who subscribed the certificate concerning Pierse Creagh.. It is 
expected that some Protestant Phisitian should view him and 
report etc. 

Evidently the bishop .was in poor health for on 14th May the 
Council made an order that upon the certificate now exhibited 
King was to await further directions before sending him to Dublin. 
He was not forgotten however. 


We require you that you take special care that Pierse Creagh 
titular Bishop of Corke be kept in strict custody. 

And in strict custody he was kept ; in the interim search being 
made for evidences of his complicity in the Popish plot. 


As your messanger was coming with Daniel Callaghan through 
Newmarkett, he [Callaghan] stole from him to Sir Richard 
Aldworths and went to the Priests then prisoners there, who 
soe conjured him upp as when he came to your Lordship, Bryan 
Sweeny tould him he was gladd he was come to sweare the truth 
to your Lordship. But Callaghan answered him, he would not 
hang his Bishopp and Priest for an hundred pound. 

Sweeny's deposition against the bishop being duly framed, 
was forwarded to King. 


You may perceive by the Examination of Bryan Sweeny how farr 
Pierse Creagh titular bishop of Corke is therein concerned. We 
send it together with several questions whereon the said Creagh 
is to be interrogated, and doe require you to examine him. 

The evidence was now it would seem completed, for on 28th 
January the sheriff of Limerick was ordered to have the bishop 
again examined whether he was fit to travel. This time the report 
of his health was satisfactory and early in February he was trans- 
mitted to Dublin. He had now spent eleven months in prison 
but he was destined to spend a further year and a half before 
being brought to trial. 

REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued). 97 


Now here at Cork, the titular bishop of Cork, a person by me 
transmitted from Dublin hither by order of my Lord Deputy 
and Council did petition the Court setting forth that the wit- 
nesses against him though desired refused to appear and therefore 
prayed a summons for them which was granted. This day being 
appointed for his trial and the witnesses appearing the Court 
proceeded to the trial of him and one of the witnesses being 
sworn to give evidence against the titular Bishop then a prisoner 
at the bar, he did confidently declare that all what he had sworn 
against the prisoner was false and so denied everything which 
was mentioned in his former examinations upon oath. But as 
the Court was going to call upon another evidence, it happened 
that a great part of the floor of the court fell down, and with 
that a great number of people many of whom are severely bruised, 
others wounded and one or two killed as we are informed. The 
confusion you may imagine was very great. Such as were not 
hurt were forced to get out of windows and among them Mr. 
Baron Worth and I dropped down into the peoples arms who 
stood ready to receive us, and I thank God we are now in our 
lodgings very safe and very well. 


This only serves to acquaint your Grace that Doctor Creah, the 
titular Bishop of Cork, came to his trial. The witnesses who 
appeared against him and had before sworn positively against 
the Doctor in their examinations, now retracted that part of 
their evidence which related to him and thereupon found the 
Doctor not guilty. 

Some interesting particulars are afforded of the bishop of 
Limerick, James Dowley. On 13th August, 1680, Ormond ac- 
quainted Primate Boyle that one Patrick French had given evidence 
of the plot in Limerick and Mr. John Anketell would corroborate 
his evidence. But 

Anketell came hither whilst French was here, denied that ever 
he told him he had anything to discover, but confessed that 
about three years ago there was a meeting of Popish bishops 
in a waste house on his land for the consecration of a new bishop, 
at which he and many gentlemen of that persuasion were present 
to see the ceremony. 

The bishop thus consecrated, had already administered the 
diocese for nearly thirty years. On the issue therefore of the 
proclamation October, 1678, the old man full of rheumatism unable 
either to hide himself or to travel surrendered himself to the 


98 REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued). 

authorities. "I cannot hear" writes Orrery 28th January, 1679, 
"that any one Romish bishop has shipped himself for foreign 
parts out of this province only the titular Bishop of Limerick 
surrendered himself in order to his transportation, in that city." 
The bishop feeble though he was, was kept under close observation. 
The governor of Limerick, Sir William King, writes to Secretary 
Gascoigne 21st May, 1680. 

The titular Bishop of Limerick has pursuant to his Graces order 
entered security to me to be forthcoming at his Grace's pleasure. 

Ormond in a letter to the Privy Council the following July 
asked for instructions concerning him and others. It was deter- 
mined to bring him to trial. 


10 AUGUST 1680. 

We require you that James Dowley be bound to appear at the 
next assizes at Limerick. 

This is the last reference to the bishop in the government 
correspondence ; it is probable that the old man soon after appeared 
before a higher and a juster tribunal. 

At this period the diocese of Ardfert was administered by 
vicars-apostolic. These were not overlooked. 


Having received information that one Ambrose Pierce a popish 
priest now resident in the County Kerry doth exercise popish 
jurisdiction contrary etc. We hereby require you to have him 

But among the Catholic prelates of the time there was no 
one who loomed so large in the reports of spies, and the correspond- 
ence of Protestant bishops and governors, as John O'Moloney, 
bishop of Killaloe. Acquainted with many of the highest rank 
in France, the friend of Colbert, it was said even, of the Grand 
Monarch himself, he was shadowed and watched from his first 
arrival in the country. 


Since my coming into the government of this kingdom, here is 
one Molooney who calls himself Bishop of Killaloe come over 
hither. I have spoken with him severall times and find him 
a very discreet wise man. He is without doubt the ablest 

REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued}.. 99 

among all those of the Roman persuasion. He has spent most 
of his time in France and I am apt to persuade myself e, is too 
eminent a man . to lye concealed there without being taken 
notice of. He has employed his time since his arrival here 
and not without success in composing the differences which 
were among those of his own religion, as particularly those dis- 
putes which have been betwixt Peter Talbot and Plunkett 
their titular Primate, concerning jurisdiction. I perceive too 
that he lives in a better condition than the small profitts which 
he can make out of his titular Bishopricke would put him into. 
All which gives me ground to suspect he is a pensioner of France, 
fin case that France and England should not be uppon so good 
termes as I presume they now are this person may be a most 
mischievous instrument. Your Lordship may now in time 
and whilst you have opportunities of good intelligence in the 
Court of France informe yourselfe of what value this Molooney 
is there, and with whom he holds his correspondences. Only 
with this caution that you credit not too much any informations 
concerning him which may be sent you from Abbot Mountague 
whom I know to be very much a friend to this Molooney. 

The bishop quite unaware of the part credited to him in 
|| international intrigues, discharged his duties freely and openly. 
?| When, six months later, the proclamation was published ordering 
I all bishops, vicars-general, and regulars out of the kingdom, he 
^ like others believing the storm would blow over, gave in his name 


; l in Dublin as willing to transport himself. Early however in 1674 
he was shipped to France and there remained during the rest of 
the Essex administration. On the news of Ormond's succeeding 

' to the viceroyalty the good offices of the Duke of York (after- 

, wards James II) were availed of. 


I could not refuse this bearer F. Molony who is now agoing back 
into Ireland to recommend him in generall to you, finding him 
by the little conversation I have had with him to be one of the 
soberest and discretest I have meett with, of any of his profession, 
and that I am confident will behave himself quietly and to your 
satisfaction. I have had the same caracter of him from others 
and amongst the rest from the Earl of Essex who knew him 
when he was there, without which I should not have been so 
forward to have given him this letter, which is all I shall now 
say but that you may always depend upon my friendship. 

It was fortunate for Moloney that he was not known to Gates. 
His standing in France and his introduction into Ireland under the 

100 REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued). 

sponsorship of the Duke of York, could be woven into a fearsome 
story. In the first raid therefore he was overlooked. But there 
was a member of the Committee of the Privy Council on Ireland, 
who had the highest opinion of his capabilities Essex. Accordingly 
an active search was soon begun. 


In my last to your Grace of the llth instant I gave you an accompt 
of the great arming by sea in France, which still continueth 
and the design is unknown as before. There is as is here 
supposed, in Ireland the Bishop of Killaloe, a man of very good 
parts and much in the confidence and trust of France ; his 
name is Molony. His Majesty would have your Grace to seize 
him. and his papers. In a late evidence that hath been before 
us, one attesteth he heard a letter read, wrote to a Jesuit from 
Rome, which said the Pope had considered of the great oppression 
Ireland lay under, and that he would not only assist them with 
money but that he was framing a design how to have them 
supplied with men. What relation this may have to these French 
preparations may be worth inquiry. 

Ormond on 25th January wrote to Orrery. President of Munster, 
to arrest Moloney and seize his papers. He suggested that the 
bishop was hiding "somewhere about Limerick or in the county 
of Clare where his friends are." Orrery, a man long practised in 
these affairs, replied three days later. 

I shall write by an express this day to have all means used for the 
seizing Dr. Molony and his papers, though I doubt it will be 
difficult to do it, for both his friends and kindred have above 
these ten weeks confidently reported he had in a disguise shipped 
himself for France in the west. Though for my part I cannot 
certainly hear that any one Romish bishop has shipped himself 
for foreign parts out of this province. 

Orrery's anticipation proved correct. 


I have laid out severall ways after Doctor Molony but cannot 
hear anything. There came one lately to my Lord Broghill and 
me to tell me that he heard he was about Galway, and that he 
did not question but I should if there find him out. I gave him 
some money and sent him away. He returned suddenly and 
told me he was within two miles. of this place [Limerick] in 
disguise and in a white periwig. I sent one thither that could 
know him in any disguise, and one in whom I could confide ; 
but he saw no one there like him at all or in any disguise, I am 

REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued). 


assured by some merchants here that he is gone beyond seas, 
for they tell me that he went towards Waterford in order thereto. 

The hunt continued, but with little results. 


Upon perusall of your letters of the 14th instant concerning Dr. 
Mullowney we think fitt that you take into your custody the 
two baggs of money and doe also examine Thomas Grypha what 
person did execute the office of Vicar General! under the said 
Mullowney since he the said Grypha was putt out of that im- 
ployment and doe use your best endeavours to apprehend the 
said Mullowney. 

Six months later, the reports of spies seem to have located 
the bishop. 

We have lately received information that one Molony titular 
Bishop of Killaloe has lately removed out of Clare into Connaught. 
We require you to imploy fitt persons to apprehend him and 
have him sent under a safeguard to this City of Dublin. 

The sheriff of Gal way was written to on same date, but after 
prolonged search it was said the bishop had gone back to Clare. 


In obedience to his Grace's commands to me of the 10th instant's 
date I sent out from hence [Limerick] two parties of foot (under 
the command of two commissioned officers) to the several places 
mentioned in his Grace's list to make search for the titular 
Bishop of Killaloe, they returned hither the last night but could 
neither find him nor hear of his being at any of the places, nor 
at several other places where they made a search for him. I 
will lay out all I can to find him and there is no way to effect it 
but by setting of him, and that cannot be done without money, 
which shall not be wanting. 

By this time it was a question whether Moloney was in the 
country at all. Ormond was of opinion he was not. Some who 
had given information in Cork were examined when they had seen 
him last. 

Pursuant to your commands of 25th February last the High Sheriff 
brought those persons William Henaghan named in his infor- 
mations whom I did examine singly to every particular infor- 
mation. The principal man of them is one Dermot Donworth 
a man of good means and reputation among the English where 

98 REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued). 

authorities. "I cannot hear" writes Orrery 28th January, 1679, 
"that any one Romish bishop has shipped himself for foreign 
parts out of this province only the titular Bishop of Limerick 
surrendered himself in order to his transportation, in that city." 
The bishop feeble though he was, was kept under close observation. 
The governor of Limerick, Sir William King, writes to Secretary 
Gascoigne 21st May, 1680. 

The titular Bishop of Limerick has pursuant to his Graces order 
entered security to me to be forthcoming at his Grace's pleasure. 

Ormond in a letter to the Privy Council the following July 
asked for instructions concerning him and others. It was deter- 
mined to bring him to trial. 


10 AUGUST 1680. 

We require you that James Dowley be bound to appear at the 
next assizes at Limerick. 

This is the last reference to the bishop in the government 
correspondence ; it is probable that the old man soon after appeared 
before a higher and a juster tribunal. 

At this period the diocese of Ardfert was administered by 
vicars-apostolic. These were not overlooked. 


Having received information that one Ambrose Pierce a popish 
priest now resident in the County Kerry doth exercise popish 
jurisdiction contrary etc. We hereby require you to have him 

But among the Catholic prelates of the time there was no 
one who loomed so large in the reports of spies, and the correspond- 
ence of Protestant bishops and governors, as John O'Moloney, 
bishop of Killaloe. Acquainted with many of the highest rank 
in France, the friend of Colbert, it was said even, of the Grand 
Monarch himself, he was shadowed and watched from his first 
arrival in the country. 


Since my coming into the government of this kingdom, here is 
one Molooney who calls himself Bishop of Killaloe come over 
hither. I have spoken with him severall times and find him 
a very discreet wise man. He is without doubt the ablest 

REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued}. 99 

among all those of the Roman persuasion. He has spent most 
of his time in France and I am apt to persuade myselfe, is too 
eminent a man to lye concealed there without being taken 
notice of. He has employed his time since his arrival here 
and not without success in composing the differences which 
were among those of his own religion, as particularly those dis- 
putes which have been betwixt Peter Talbot and Plunkett 
their titular Primate, concerning jurisdiction. I perceive too 
that he lives in a better condition than the small profitts which 
he can make out of his titular Bishopricke would put him into. 
All which gives me ground to suspect he is a pensioner of France. 
In case that France and England should not be uppon so good 
termes as I presume they now are this person may be a most 
mischievous instrument. Your Lordship may now in time 
and whilst you have opportunities of good intelligence in the 
Court of France informe yourselfe of what value this Molooney 
is there, and with whom he holds his correspondences. Only 
with this caution that you credit not too much any informations 
concerning him which may be sent you. from Abbot Mountague 
whom I know to be very much a friend to this Molooney. 

The bishop quite unaware of the part credited to him in 
international intrigues, discharged his duties freely and openly. 
When, six months later, the proclamation was published ordering 
all bishops, vicars-general, and regulars out of the kingdom, he 
like others believing the storm would blow over, gave in his name 
in Dublin as willing to transport himself. Early however in 1674 
he was shipped to France and there remained during the rest of 
the Essex administration. On the news of Ormond's succeeding 
to the viceroyalty the good offices of the Duke of York (after- 
wards James II) were availed of. 


I could not refuse this bearer F. Molony who is now agoing back 
into Ireland to recommend him in generall to you, finding him 
by the little conversation I have had with him to be one of the 
soberest and discretest I have meett with, of any of his profession, 
and that I am confident will behave himself quietly and to your 
satisfaction. I have had the same caracter of him from others 
and amongst the rest from the Earl of Essex who knew him 
when he was there, without which I should not have been so 
forward to have given him this letter, which is all I shall now 
say but that you may always depend upon my friendship. 

It was fortunate for Moloney that he was not known to Gates. 
His standing in France and his introduction into Ireland under the 

100 REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued}. 

sponsorship of the Duke of York, could be woven into a fearsome 
story. In the first raid therefore he was overlooked. But there 
was a member of the Committee of the Privy Council on Ireland, 
who had the highest opinion of his capabilities Essex. Accordingly 
an active search was soon begun. 


In my last to your Grace of the llth instant I gave you an accompt 
of the great arming by sea in France, which still continueth 
and the design is unknown as before. There is as is here 
supposed, in Ireland the Bishop of Killaloe, a man of very good 
parts and much in the confidence and trust of France ; his 
name is Molony. His Majesty would have your Grace to seize 
him and his papers. In a late evidence that hath been before 
us, one attesteth he heard a letter read, wrote to a Jesuit from 
Rome, which said the Pope had considered of the great oppression 
Ireland lay under, and that he would not only assist them with 
money but that he was framing a design how to have them 
supplied with men. What relation this may have to these French 
preparations may be worth inquiry. 

Ormond on 25th January wrote to Orrery, President of Munster, 
to arrest Moloney and seize his papers. He suggested that the 
bishop was hiding "somewhere about Limerick or in the county 
of Clare where his friends are." Orrery, a man long practised in 
these affairs, replied three days later. 

I shall write by an express this day to have all means used for the 
seizing Dr. Molony and his papers, though I doubt it will be 
difficult to do it, for both his friends and kindred have above 
these ten weeks confidently reported he had in a disguise shipped 
himself for France in the west. Though for my part I cannot 
certainly hear that any one Romish bishop has shipped himself 
for foreign parts out of this province. 

Orrery's anticipation proved correct. 


I have laid out severall ways after Doctor Molony but cannot 
hear anything. There came one lately to my Lord Broghill and 
me to tell me that he heard he was about Galway, and that he 
did not question but I should if there find him out. I gave him 
some money and sent him away. He returned suddenly and 
told me he was within two miles of this place [Limerick] in 
disguise and in a white periwig. I sent one thither that could 
know him in any disguise, and one in whom I could confide ; 
but he saw no one there like him at all or in any disguise, I am 

REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued). 101 

assured by some merchants here that he is gone beyond seas, 
for they tell me that he went towards Waterford in order thereto. 

The hunt continued, but with little results. 

Upon perusall of your letters of the 14th instant concerning Dr. 
Mullowney we think fitt that you take into your custody the 
two baggs of money and doe also examine Thomas Grypha what 
person did execute the office of Vicar Generall under the said 
Mullowney since he the said Grypha was putt out of that im- 
ployment and doe use your best endeavours to apprehend the 
said Mullowney. 

Six months later, the reports of spies seem to have located 
the bishop. 

We have lately received information that one Molony titular 
Bishop of Killaloe has lately removed out of Clare into Connaught. 
We require you to imploy fitt persons to apprehend him and 
have him sent under a safeguard to this City of Dublin. 

The sheriff of Galway was written to on same date, but after 
prolonged search it was said the bishop had gone back to Clare. 


In obedience to his Grace's commands to me of the 10th instant's 
date I sent out from hence [Limerick] two parties of foot (under 
the command of two commissioned officers) to the several places 
mentioned in his Grace's list to make search for the titular 
Bishop of Killaloe, they returned hither the last night but could 
neither find him nor hear of his being at any of the places, nor 
at several other places where they made a search for him. I 
will lay out all I can to find him and there is no way to effect it 
but by setting of him, and that cannot be done without money, 
which shall not be wanting. 

By this time it was a question whether Moloney was in the 
country at all. Ormond was of opinion he was not. Some who 
had given information in Cork were examined when they had seen 
him last. 


Pursuant to your commands of 25th February last the High Sheriff 
brought those persons William Henaghan named in his infor- 
mations whom I did examine singly to every particular infor- 
mation. The principal man of them is one Dermot Donworth 
a man of good means and reputation among the English where 

102 REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued}. 

he lives. He owns that Molony the titular Bishop of Killaloe 
was in his house one day about seven years past and never 
before or after but utterly denies any private conversation with 
or messages from or sight of the said Bishop ever since or then 
or any time before or after it or knowing of any money he any 
way disposed of to acny person or persons on the King of France 
his account, or heard a word thereof in any manner whatsoever 
or of any plot against our King. 

There now appears on the scene, Roan, Protestant bishop of 
Killaloe, a man thorough-paced in all the ways of informers. 


When I was last in Dublin I had some discourse with my Lord 
Lieutenant concerning Bishop Moloney whom his Grace believed 
was in France, whereas I then was and am still of opinion he is 
in this kingdom. Besides other I have this reason that in the 
beginning of November last the parish priest of Tullagh died 
and the parishioners chose of themselves one Grady to succeed, 
where he had scarce continued three weeks but there came an 
order from Bishop Molone}? under his own hand for the induction 
of one White. The original order I expect this week to be 
brought me so that it is evident he could not be in France. 

In reply to an enquiry of Ormond, Roan wrote 23rd April : 

As for Bishop Molony, I had certain intelligence (while one man 
lived but since dead) where his parents were, and amongst 
other places he was at the Lady Clare's house near Inish [Ennis], 
and having got notice he was there, I sent a party to enquire 
for him, but he was gone. The Lord being at Inish which was 
more than I knew he was displeased and sent me the enclosed 
letter how ill he resented it. I cannot say that the Lord himself 
was at any time in Molony 's company. 

I have got me many enemies of the Irish for my enquiries after 
Bishop Molony so that I was advised by a friend to have a 
care of myself, which caused me to write to my lord Primate 
to befriend me for my removal when occasion offered. 

Clare though professing himself a champion of Protestantism, 
was strongly suspected by Ormond. To put himself right he now 
joined in the pursuit of Moloney. The cordon was soon drawn 
so tight round the bishop that people were afraid to shelter him. 
He had at last to fly to France. 


And now I must add one thing more, which is this, I hear now 
that Bishop Molony is gone to sea. The priest whom he ordered 

REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued}. 103 

to be inducted into Tullagh hath left the country, and the priest 
Grady who was chosen by the people at first is returned to that 
place. But withal he acquaints me that he hears Bishop Molony 
hath left an excommunication on him, but as yet no order for 
it is come to his knowledge, but says he is certain the Bishop 
took shipping lately at Kilrush. I have acquainted him that if 
any such order whether written or verbal is brought to him 
that he should give me notice thereof together with the person 
that brought it, which I expect he will for the priest's mother 
is my tenant. 

There was no need of further efforts, for Dr. Moloney soon 
after reached France whence on 13th June, he sent to Propaganda 
a summary of. his three years' adventures (p). 

The bishops of Leinster equally with their brethren in the 
other provinces, faced the penalties of transportation or death in 
the discharge of their duties. The bishop of Kildare, Dr. Mark 
Forrestal, though unceasingly pursued, long eluded capture. 
From the very beginning of the Gates' plot the spies were on his trail. 


We find by your letters of the 5th instant an account of the late 
concourse of people in which letters you mention that you 
heard that the Parish Priest there hath displast priests and divided 
parishes thereabouts. We require of you to inform yourself of 
that matter and discover the names of the priests removed and 
the names of the priests who were putt in their places and whether 
the parish priest hath any authority and from whom, upon all 
which you will make return to us. 

The bishop nevertheless during this and the following year, 
faithfully administered his diocese. The Government Register of 
1704 shows the several houses of the Catholic gentry where he 
ordained priests in 1679 and 1680. But at length it became too 
unsafe to shelter him, and he was forced to build a shieling in a 
lonely wood, whence he watched for a break in the storm. In 
vain, however, for on 25th February, 1681, we find his capture 
recorded. For two years he pined in a Dublin prison until in 1683 
death came to discharge him. 

More fortunate was James Phelan, bishop of Ossory. On the 
hills overlooking the Suir in the old manor houses of Garryricken 
and Kilcash, the outlawed ecclesiastic was harboured by Walter 

(p) Spicilegium Ossoriense II, 258. 

104 REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued). 

Butler, the Lord Lieutenant's nephew, and Richard Butler his 

The bishop-elect of Ferns escaped transportation by a curious 
defence. He was not bishop since he had not received consecra- 
tion ; neither was he vicar-general since there was no bishop. 
He pleaded that he was simply elected by the twenty-one priests 
of the diocese, and the crown prosecutors apparently forgot that 
a vicar-capitular exercised popish jurisdiction. 

How another Leinster bishop was forewarned and thereby 
enabled to escape, appears from the following: 


There came to my hands a letter written by frier Jo. McMoyer 
(one of the evidence against Olyver Plunkett), directed to one 
James Cusack, a popish priest [Catholic bishop of Meath] the 
subject whereof is to desire Cusack to warn one Doctor Drum- 
goole and severall others of the popish clergie to depart the 
kingdom for that they had been accused of treason in England, 
that new warrants are issued for their apprehension and that 
if they stayd they would be served as Plunket was. Some 
arguments he used to induce them to be gone, shewing his earnest 
desire of unity amongst all those of that function and persuasion, 
and some profession he makes of his continued steadfastnesse 
and zeale to their religion. Yesterday I produced this letter 
at Council and it was then ordered that Moyre should be sent 
for being in town. He was accordingly brought and has very 
franckly before us all and under his hand owned that the letter 
was all his hand writing. He was then ordered to be taken 
into custody till he should find sufficient security to appeare to 
answer for his misdemeanour of advising such as he himself 
had accused of treason to fly from justice. This account I give 
you lest such proceeding against one upon whose testimony in 
past a person has been found guilty and executed, should be 
misrepresented or misunderstood. 

It remains to trace the fortunes of the archbishop of Dublin, 
Peter Talbot. Arrested and brought to Dublin Castle, llth 
October, 1678, the evidence against him as given by Titus Gates, 
27th of same month (q), was : 

In the month of August there was a consult with the Jesuits and 
with the Benedictine monks at the Savoy. In this month of 
August there was a letter writ from Archbishop Talbot wherein 
he gave an account of a legate from the Pope an Italian bishop 

(q) Trial of Edward Coleman, S.J., King's Bench, London. 

REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued}. 105 

(the bishop of Cassay I think) who asserted the Pope's right 
to the kingdom of Ireland. In this letter there were four 
Jesuits had contrived [plotted] to dispatch the Duke of Ormond, 
to find the most expedient way for his death ; and Fogarty 
[M.D.] was to be sent to do it by poison if these four good fathers 
did not hit of their design. Fogarty was present. And when 
the consult was almost at a period, Mr. Coleman came, and was 
mighty forward to have Fogarty sent to Ireland to dispatch the 
Duke by poison. This letter did specify they were there ready 
to rise in rebellion against the King for the Pope. 

Four days after his arrest the archbishop was examined by 
a committee of the Privy Council presided over by Jones. 

Peter Talbot Titular Archbishop of Dublin being duely Examined 
Sayeth that he left Ireland in or about the month of June before 
the publication of the Proclamation for the Popish cleargie to 
depart the kingdom [1673], and that hee went away then uppon 
the advice of some friends in England and after his goeing into 
England and continuance there about a month, hee went into 
France and remained there about two yeares and from thence 
went to St. Omers and stayed there about a fortnight or three 
weeks and thence to Calis where he stayed about a fortnight 
and from thence came to London on about March last was two 
yeares where he stayed about a month and from thence came 
into Cheshire to Mr. Poole of Poolehall in Wirrall where he 
continued untill his arrivall in Ireland about the latter end of 
May last. He sayeth that the reason wherefore he came into 
Ireland was that he was tould by his Physitians that he could 
not live long, being troubled with an vlcer in the bladder and 
other disorders and therefore desired to dye in his own country. 
That being tould the danger of the breach of the Proclamation 
and the Law from his returning into Ireland, sayeth he did by 
some friends make application to his Grace the now Lord Lieuten- 
ant for his returne into Ireland, that Collonell fitz Patrick (r) 
wrote to him that his Grace did not conceave it seasonable for 
his returne at that time but advised him to adjust things with 
his friends in England, which he endeavoured to effect. He 
sayeth that uppon a second application made to his Grace before 
his coming over that Collonell fitz Patrick wrote to him again 
and advised him to adjust matters with his friends in England 
and that being done if hee return into Ireland the Lord Lieutenant 
would take no more notice of him than of any others of his 
quality. That uppon his landing in Ireland hee desired Colloneil 
fitz Patrick to make his excuse to his Grace in not waiting on 
him according to his duetie, by reason of his distemper and 
that Collonell fitz Patrick told him that his Grace was sorry 

(r) Ormond's brother-in-law. 

106 REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued}. 

for the Examinates sickness and indisposition and that whilst 
hee behaved himself peaceably, hee would take no more notice 
of him than of others of his condition. He sayeth that he did 
not make any other address to his Grace by any other Person 
nor received any other answer than before is mencioned. He 
sayeth that he doth know Richard Strange but did not see him 
but once in London about two yeares since (s). He doth know 
John Kaynes and onely read one or two letters from him con- 
cerning controversie in religion and never saw him but twice. 
Doth not know John ff en wick nor ever writ to him nor ever 
received any letters from him. He doth know Richard Ashby, 
Rector of St. Omer, but never writt to him or received any 
letters from him since he came from St. Omer. He sayeth hee 
doth not know Thomas White, Ireland, Micho, Harecourt, ffr 
Blundell, John Graves, Jenison or Lockwort. Hee sayeth that 
hee heard that one Laseise [Pere La Chaise] was confessor to 
the French King but did not know him, nor ever wrote to him 
or to any other to be communicated to him, or received any 
letters from him. Hee sayeth that since his coming from France 
he hath not received any letters from any person from St. Omer 
nor sent any letters thither to any person. He sayeth that he 
never knew nor saw one Oates nor ever heard of him untill 
within this fortnight uppon the discourse of the Plott. He 
sa}^eth he doth know William Morgan a priest who usually 
resided with the Lord Powes in Wales and hee came acquainted 
with him at Poole hall about eight or tenn months since but 
doth not know that he was in Ireland within these two yeares 
past but heard he was here about five or six yeare agoe. He 
sayeth that John Oliva is Generall of the society of the Jesuits 
and Resident at Rome. Doth not know of any commission 
granted bjr the said Generall to any Person but that communi- 
cated for the prayers of the body of the society, [which] has been 
granted under the seale to the Examinate and others. Hee 
sayeth that he doth not know any Jesuits resident in or about 
Dublin but ffr Netterville, ffr Gough, ffr Usher and ffr Johnson f 
and one Ryan in the county of Catherlagh and doth not know 
any others in the kingdom but hath heard and beleeveth that 
there are several!. He sayeth he doth not know or ever heard 
of any breefe from the Pope in the year 1673 or since. He 
sayeth that he doth not know or heard of any Nuncio, Legate 
or minister imployed from the Pope into this kingdom since his 
Maiesties restauracon. He sayeth that he hath not written 
any letters within these two yeares past to any Jesuit in or about 
London or the aforesaid letters to one Kaynes and [but ?] letters 
\:o Mr. Benefield in London once or twice since the Examinats 
coming into Ireland which was concerning his private affayres 

' (s) Strange was Provincial of the English Jesuits. He and the other 
Jesuits named, were implicated by Oates in the Plot. 

REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued}. 107 

onely and in vindication of himself from the Calumny of one 
Serjeant. He sayeth he doth know Dr. ffogorty and hath been 
acquainted with him these nine or ten yeares past. Hee sayeth 
that when hee was in London about two yeares since beinge 
in discourse with Dr. Fogarty hee wished that hee were in Ireland 
uppon account of his practice onely but hee answered hee was 
better "where hee was and sayeth hee hath written to him since 
concerning his (the Examinats) distemper and Sergents calumny 
as aforesaid and noe other occasion and that the said Doctor 
by his letters advised him to apply himselfe to Dr. Meara for 
his distemper. He sayeth he doth not know of any commanding 
officer of the standing Army in Ireland that is a Papist or that 
any dispensation was given to any of them for taking the Oath 
of Supremacie and believeth that none can be given them. He 
sayeth he never received any letters under any cover directed 
to the Lord Mount Garrett nor knows of any other person that 
received such letters. He sayeth that since his last coming into 
Ireland he doth not know of any Parish papist Priests removed 
out of their Parishes but heard of one that lived near Arkloe that 
was removed for scandalous living but was not done by the 
Examinat hee having declared that ever since his last coming 
into Ireland hee would not intermeddle in matters of that nature. 
Taken before us 15 of October 1678 PETER TALBOT. 

Hen. Midensis, Ro. Booth, John Davys. 

Two other examinations were taken, and a further one of 
Andrew Birmingham, the archbishop's servant. The four were 
sent to the Lords Committee then in session in London but these 
gentlemen in vain endeavoured to make them fit into Gates' story. 
It was now whispered that Ormond himself was in collusion with 
Talbot. It was noted that the archbishop's papers were not 
seized at his arrest, and further that his return into Ireland was 
connived at by the Lord Lieutenant. Though Ossory wrote October 
23rd, "I hear Peter Talbot and others are in custody ; I doubt not 
but you will make their restraint as easy as is possible, after their 
being examined," there could not in the then state of Protestant 
frenzy, be question of bail. Neither had Ormond the inclination. 
For the Talbots and he had long been bitter enemies and he had 
always believed that the terrible expose "The Sale and Settlement 
of Ireland" was written by the archbishop. The agonized petitions 
therefore sent from time to time, were cast aside with angry disdain. 

The humble petition of Peter Talbot 
May it please your Grace. Humbly sheweth that your Petitioner 

108 REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued). 

after a long continuance of an Vlcer and Stone in the Bladder 
hath bin bedr'd these six monthes past and now rendred almost 
incapable of stirring in his bed or chamber without very great 
paine and danger. And therefore [he] is advised by the 
Physicians not to stirr or move as much as formerly. Your 
Petitioner it appearing by the Physitians opinion in iminent 
and sudden danger he is in, doth humbly prey that he may have 
a Secular Priest come to him to prepare himself as a Christian 
and one of his persuasion for an other world and your Petitioner 
will ever pray, etc. PETER TALBOT. 

[Endorsed] Peter Talbot's Petition given me by Sir Thomas 
Newcomen. Received 1 1 of Aprill 79 ffer a Priest to come to him. 

No priest however was permitted to approach and it now 
seemed that the only hope of relief physical or spiritual was to 
address Charles and the English Privy Council. The result appears 
in a letter from Secretary Coventry to Ormond, 19th August, 1679. 

As to the letter from your Grace and Council to me with the inclosed 
petition of Peter Talbot and the Certificates, I could not shew 
it the Council for the reason that no Council is to meet till the 
Thursdny after Michaelmas, but I shewed it to his Majesty who 
commanded me to return this answer that you and the Council 
can best judge of the matter of fact asserted in the petition and 
if you judge him to be in that desperate condition His Majesty 
is contented you should let him go into the country for the 
air provided you take sufficient bail and all other ways provide 
against his escape. The King and Council here have given 
leave to my Lord Bellasis for a short time to go into the country, 
but besides his bail they have appointed two of the warders 
of the Tower to be with him at his house but as to this I have 
no order to give your Grace any directions. I only acquaint 
you with it as my own observation and I suppose your order 
if you give it will be that he return whenever your Grace shall 
think fitting to summon him. And this is what I had from his 
Majesty in answer to the letter sent me by your Grace and Council. 

Ormond however was determined to give the archbishop no 
quarter ; he met, as would seem, the importunity of the tortured 
prisoner with a diplomatic lie. 

To his Grace James Duke of Ormond Lord Lieutenant General 

and General Governor of Ireland. 
The humble petition of Peter Talbot Prisoner in his Majesties 

Castle of Dublin. 
Sheweth. That the languishing condition of your Petitioner in 

a streight confinement these twelve moneths past and vnder the 

most painful of diseases is now come to the point that for want 

REIGN OF CHARLES II. (Continued). 109 

of conveniency in the place where he is of vseing of Bathes and 
other remedies to abate the Sharpnes of his distemper, he is 
like to perish in a very deplorable manner and though he has 
incouragment from his friends in England to hope that his 
Majesty (when his more weighty affaires are over) will take 
your Petitioner into his mercifull consideration yet his torments 
increase so fast upon him that he feares his Majesty's favour 
will arrive too late if your Excellency take no present com- 
passion of him. May it therefore please your Grace To grant 
your Petitioner leave to remove from the place of his present 
confinement to the house of some one of his frinds here in Towne 
and there to remaine either upon bayl or under a guard vntill 
his Majesties further pleasure concerning him be known. And 
he will ever pray etc. PETER TALBOT. 

No notice was taken of this petition, for there is no reference 
upon it. A final appeal was made in February, 1680, but this 
last cry from the dungeon was stifled also. "The two letters," 
writes Coventry 6th March, "were read at the Board yesterday. 
They would not at all meddle with the desires of Peter Talbot 
but laid it totally aside." Henceforward the only respite to be 
looked for was death, and this was long in coming. At length on 
25th October more than two years after his arrest, Lord Lanes- 
borough wrote to Ormond in Kilkenny "Mr. Turner tells me Peter 
Talbot is past recovery." A month later Ormond informs the 
English Secretary of State : 

I have for two or three posts forgot to acquaint your Lordship 
that Peter Talbot, the titular Archbishop of Dublin is dead and 
that care was taken to have the body looked upon by some that 
knew him. 

This was not unnecessary, for in the frenzy of the time Ormond 
himself might have been accused of liberating the archbishop. 
But a fuller measure is afforded of Protestant fanaticism. Talbot 
had befriended Charles. The Spanish pension for the exiled king 
had been negociated by him. After the Restoration, as chaplain 
to the Queen and resident at Whitehall, he and Charles had been 
on the most intimate terms. There is evidence that this intimacy 
continued to the end. Yet now the King dared not grant the old 
man one week's fresh air, nor at the last, unbolt his cell and let 
him forth to die (t). 

(t) The archbishop's will may still be seen among the Carte Papers in. 
the Bodleian Vol. CCXLIII. 



niTHERTO the work of uprooting the Catholic priesthood 
went on at intervals and sporadically. For there was 
no regular machinery. The Council or the Lord Deputy 
issued instructions or proclamations and these the sheriffs and 
other officers acted on or ignored according as their judgment 
dictated or the local circumstances admitted. The statute book 
beyond certain penalties for " extolling the pope's jurisdiction " 
contained no enactments against priests. And the Catholics were 
too powerful throughout the seventeenth century to make such 
legislation possible. In February, 1612, Sir Henry Winch and 
Sir John Davies brought over among other bills one similar to the 
English Act of 1585, that Jesuits and seminary priests were to be 
accounted traitors and to harbour them was felony. But after 
the sturdy action of the Catholic opposition at the beginning of 
the parliament, no more was said about the proposal. When 
at the parliament of 1634 the bill was again mooted, Straff ord 
"thorough" as he was, reported "it would be too much at once~to 
distemper the Catholics by bringing plantations upon them and 
disturb them in the exercise of their religion ; and very inconsiderate 
to move in the latter till the former was fully settled and by that 
means the protestant party become much the stronger which he 
did not then conceive it to be" (u). At the Restoration the Crom- 
wellian House of Commons sent heads of bills to the English Council 
subjecting the priests to the same penalties as in England. Again 
in 1683 the parliament about to be called, included in its agenda 
an act making the exercise of papal jurisdiction in Ireland punish- 
able with death. But weakened though the Catholics were by the 
Ulster plantation and the Cromwellian forfeitures, the Council did 
not think fit to proceed with these measures. Now however all 
was changed. The Catholics utterly crushed by the war of the 
Revolution were shorn of every element of political and military 
(u) Stafford's Letters II, 36. 


strength. Their lands were confiscated, their merchants driven 
from the towns, their gentry and professional classes gone into 
exile or reduced to pauperism, the mass of the people in abject 
misery and serfdom. In short the whole resources and govern- 
ment of the country had passed into the hands of the Protestant 
minority and the state of things desiderated by Strafford was 
realized at last. 

It is important to bear these facts in mind. For apologists 
of the penal laws are wont to justify them as measures of self 
defence. A small minority, they say, in the midst of a hostile 
and overwhelming majority could only protect itself and maintain 
its existence by reducing the majority to absolute impotence, social 
and civic ; that in point of fact these laws preserved Ireland 
during the eighteenth century from becoming what it assuredly 
would have become, the theatre of Jacobite intrigue and civil 
war. And hence that their motive causes were not religious 
bigotry or racial hatred but the elementary ones of fear and common 
prudence. Such is the reasoning and it appears to have much 
force. But after careful examination of the proceedings of the 
two Parliaments, of the correspondence between the Irish and 
English Councils and the utterances of the statesmen responsible, 
I feel bound to say it receives no support from history. The 
penal code, though a marvellously complete, organic whole was 
not put together under the pressure of an ever advancing enemy 
nor was it the result of a well conceived policy of defence. It 
came into existence in a brief period when the Irish people were 
regarded as hopelessly, irretrievably crushed, and each step in their 
fall, each diminution of their hopes was marked by a new link in 
the chain (v). Their cause had been espoused by France, and 
according as the fortunes of France sank, the penal code grew 
branch by branch in malignant perfection. Not in fear were the 

(v) Sir Richard Cox who had a large part in framing the code, writes 
"The youth and gentry of Ireland were destroyed in the Rebellion or are 
gone to France ; those who are left are destitute of horses, arms, money, 
capacity and courage. Five out of six of the Irish are insignificant slaves, 
fit for nothing but to hew wood and draw water." And Swift the great 
representative of the Protestant minority everywhere expresses the utmost 
contempt for the Catholics. "They are as harmless as women and children, 
powerless to hurt, and doomed to certain disappearance in one or two 


laws of William and Anne passed, but in vengeance and in the 
unbridled licence of triumph. The language of Burke has been 
sometimes criticised but any research amongst original authorities 
shows it to be only the literal truth. "All the penal laws of that 
unparalleled code of oppression were manifestly the effects of 
national hatred and scorn towards a conquered people whom the 
victors delighted to trample upon and were not at all afraid to 
provoke. They were not the effect of their fears but of their 
security. Whilst that temper prevailed, and it prevailed in all its 
force to a time within our memory, every measure was pleasing 
and popular just in proportion as it tended to harass and ruin a 
set of people who were looked upon as enemies to God and man 
and indeed, as a race of savages who were a disgrace to human 
nature itself" (w}. 

The sequence of events brings out this fact clearly. Im- 
mediately before the battle of Aughrim, William made a proposal 
through Sir Charles Wogan (Tyrconnell's nephew) that the Catholics 
should be secured the free exercise of their religion, that half the 
churches should be given back to them, that they should have their 
share in civil and military employment, and that half their former 
property should be restored (x). The Articles of Galway secured 
the officers there, their estates, permitted Catholic barristers to 
practice and priests to say mass in private, and pardoned all offences 
committed since the accession of James II. Again in the instructions 
of William to the Lords Justices to be embodied in the "secret 
proclamation" even more liberal terms were granted. Finally the 
first article in the Treaty of Limerick guaranteed the enjoyment 
of such privileges in the exercise of religion as were consistent 
with the laws of Ireland or were enjoyed in the reign of Charles II, 
and promised further protection from disturbance on account of 
religion. This was the high-water mark of toleration. It was also 
the period when the Irish Catholics were strongest. For the war 
was not yet over. Louis XIV. was as yet victorious over the 
Grand Alliance. William's throne was still shaking, and engaged 
as he was in a life and death struggle on the continent, the contest 
with the Irish had to be closed on any terms. 

(w) Letter to Sir H. Langrishe. 

(x) Wogan to Swift Swift's Works XVIII, 13. 


But in the seventeenth century no more than in our own day, 
were treaties respected longer than the high contracting parties 
felt in a position to repudiate them. For a few years some pretence 
was made of observing the Articles of Limerick. Dopping, bishop 
of Meath, was dismissed from the Privy Council for preaching in 
St. Patrick's that no faith should be kept with the Irish. A few 
outlawries were reversed in the Lord Chancellor's court. Sydney 
admitted some Irish officers into the army and tried to obtain 
parliamentary sanction for the Articles. During these years in 
fact, the issue of the struggle was still doubtful. The great French 
victories of Steinkirk and Neerwinden rendered it possible that 
another descent might be made and the whole country kindled 
into conflagration. But the decline of France from 1694 onward, 
the fall of Namur in 1695, and the peace of Ryswick in 1697, 
allayed all the fears of the Irish minority, and furthermore released 
William from obligations to his Catholic allies. Accordingly the 

| flood of Protestant fanaticism put up since the days of Charles II. 

'j was now let loose and the penal era began. 

Jl The priests had already got a foretaste of what was to come. 

1 ''"} 

^jln December, 1692, some French privateers appearing off the 

^ coast occasioned a general alarm. An order was issued by Sydney 
if to put all priests under arrest as well as such others as had held 
|| commissions in the army of King James. Sydney acquainted Lord 
m Nottingham, the English secretary, 23rd January, 1693, that the 
ft returns of the arrests for Munster and Connaught had not come 
in but he enclosed the following : 

Dublin .... 35 priests. 

Queen's Co. .... 2 ,, 

Roscommon .... 5 ,, 

King's Co. .... 4 

Kilkenny .... 13 

Tyrone .... 5 ,, 

Mayo .... 4 ,, 

Tipperary .... 4 ,, but seven had ab- 

sconded and all the priests of Upper Ormond. 

Kildare .... 2 

Co. Dublin .... 8 


"As the apprehensions," he continues, "are now blown over 
or in a great manner lessened the persons who were imprisoned 
are now set at liberty upon giving security for good behaviour 
and promise to come forth when required. Only excepting the 
regular clergy who are still imprisoned till his Majesty's pleasure 
be known in relation to them." 

The regular clergy occupied the anxious attention of the 


It is this day ordered that the Committee of this Board appointed 
to examine the papists lately taken up in or about this city, or 
any three of them do forthwith meet and consider what may 
be fitt to be done with the regular priests now in custody upon 
the late general order, and of the most easy and effectual way of 
disposing or sending them out of the kingdom, and report the 
same forthwith. 

In accordance with this order the Committee reported the 
following day that in 1673, 1674, and 1678 the regular clergy were 
banished the kingdom by proclamation. They added 

We are of opinion that the great number of popish archbishops, 
bishops and regular clergy now in Ireland and exercising forraine 
jurisdiction, tends to the disturbance of the peace and is against 
the laws and statutes of this kingdom, and there is great reason 
to issue out a proclamation like the former proclamations re- 
quiring the said bishops and clergy in some convenient time to 
depart out of Ireland under penalty of being prosecuted with 
the utmost severity. But it is submitted to your consideration 
and to the Board whether you shall think fitt to issue out such 
a proclamation without their Majesty's commands. 

Sydney consulted Nottingham who promised instructions. 
Four months later no instructions had come. It was not yet the 
time for a general clearing-out of the priests. Meanwhile local 
persecution went on. The Lords Justices, 18th August, 1693, 
published a proclamation that "the popish pretended parish priest 
of any parish when tories are out upon their keeping is to be arrested 
and kept in the common gaol of the county until the said tories 
are arrested." Now as tories and rapparees abounded in the 
years following the Revolution, many of the priests must have 
been imprisoned. Here for example are Christmas stories of the 
period, one from each end of the country. 


Strabane ye 24 of December 1696. 

My Lord, 

By order from government to the Sheriff of this Co. there is 
five of us of the Romish clergy taken and in custody these foure 
weeks past in this town, no accusation nor no cause that wee 
know but only that wee are priests and the pleasure of the 
government. Your Lordshipp is sensible that wee cannot be 
here without greate expenses and little or nothing to pay it 
with unless helped by such as your Lordshipp, being a perfect 
Patern of Charitie. [We] have made bould in the behalf of 
the rest to acquaint your Lordshipp with our present confine- 
ment and indigencie, some of us being mendicants and thereby 
the more unable to defray our charges and since the government, 
god be praised, cannot lay any thing to our charge so that any 
may intercede for our Hbertie wee pray your Lordshipp to com- 
iserate our condition in contributing to our help as to your 
Lordshipp shall seeme fitt. And wee shall as in duetie bound 
forever pray for your Lordshipps health and welfare and con- 
clude ourselves your Lordshipps poore distressed and Most 
humble servants. FA. JAMES O HEGARTII 





Endorsed To the Rt. Hon. and Father in God William by divine 
providence Id. Bishop of Derry at Londonderry. These. 

In the beginning of December, 1696, the whole clergy of Water- 
ford were brought prisoners to Waterford gaol. From the corporate 
minute book we learn 

December 15 1696 Mr. Mayor having received orders from the 
Government to continue the priests in custody and to bail others. 
It is ordered that there be a watch of the Cittizens eight men 
and a constable every twenty four hours with armes and those 
that cannot so appeare to imploy others at Eight pence a turne 
and that the Sherife see to the well ordring of it. 

The era of penal legislation was inaugurated by the parlia- 
ment of 1695. Sydney had been dismissed as too favourable to 
the Catholics, and Capel, the new deputy, in his speech to the 
two houses, 27th August, struck the key-note of their proceedings. 

The [proposed] bills have more effectually provided for your future 
security than has ever hitherto been done. In my opinion the 
want of such laws has been one great cause of your past miseries 
and it will be your fault as well as your misfortune if you neglect 
to lay hold of the opportunity now put into your hands by 


your great and gracious King of making such a lasting settle- 
ment that it may never be in the power of your enemies to bring 
the like calamities again upon you. 

During the summer Robert Rochfort and Alan Brodrick who 
had led the "Protestant interest" in the last parliament and were 
now Attorney-General and Solicitor-General, were busy. The 
results of their labours in conjunction with the English Council, 
were two bills, one for disarming the Catholics the other for the 
destruction of Catholic education. "The first," wrote Capel 
complaisantly, "will secure the Protestant interest, the other the 
Protestant religion in this kingdom." The bills were carried in 
a flood of enthusiasm and the session, unlike the stormy ones of 
the previous parliament, closed with all round felicitation. Two 
years later, as was the custom of the time, the next session opened. 
The prospects of the Catholics had meanwhile darkened and their 
power of resistance grown less. The time therefore had come 
when the whole settlement might be called in question, and the 
Treaty of Limerick torn in shreds. Previous to the sitting of 
parliament the two Councils with whom all real legislative power 
lay, discussed the proposed measures. 



An Act for the Confirming of Articles made at the Surrender of 
the City of Lymerick. 

Wee conceived the first Article concerning Religion unfitt to be 
mentioned in this Bill. The Second Article is confirmed in the 
sence and meaning in which it hath been understood and practiced 
by the Council here and submitted to by the Irish in the claj^mes 
that are already determined. The Third, Fourth and Fifth 
Articles are confirmed. The Sixth Article which hath been the 
subject of the greatest disputes is confirmed in its full latitude 
which is done in regard to his Maiesties honour only and not 
for the justice or reasonableness of the thing in itself and wee 
hope the same reason will prevayl in the Parliament if his Maiesty 
shall think his honour concerned in having the Article soe fully 
confirmed. The 10th day of Aprill hath been thought the 
moste proper day to settle for the beginning of the war for the 
reason mentioned in the Bill and for that it seemed to be the 
sense of the Parliament when that matter was in debate. 


It is to the credit of the Irish lords, the Protestant bishops 
in particular, that they protested against the omission of the 


famous clause in the second Article. Their lordships however 
made no protest against the dropping of the first Article which 
was the fundamental one of the whole Treaty. To put toleration 
to Catholics in an Act of Parliament would be in their view, 
national apostacy. 

The road being now clear, legislation against ecclesiastics was 
proceeded with. As originally framed the first bill ran "An Act 
for suppressing All Fryerys, Monasterys, Nunneryes," etc. The 
English Council added "Chantreys, Guilds and Fraternities." 
This brought an expostulation, for as it happened the old chantry 
and guild property was in Protestant possession and its title might 
be imperilled. 


The amendment is of such a nature that if passed into law it would 
disturb the quiett of this whole kingdom. No one person of 
either house would give his consent for passing the bill with 
this clause, we therefore transmitt the same bill with some 
small change in title. An Act for banishing all Papists exercising 
Ecclesiasticall jurisdiction and all regulars of the Popish church 
out of this kingdom. 

Froude's account is that the words were inserted by Popish 
intrigue in England for the purpose of damning the bill. Yet 
the truthful historian must have read the following: 


The Bill for banishing Regulars is now under Mr. Attorney GeneralTs 
inspection, it will be considered on tuesday and so, little objection 
can be made to it if it be of the same nature with the former 
before it was altered by us. Orders having been given to have 
it ready engrossed I hope it may be sent away that evening but 
your Lordship may depend upon it that there will be noe delay 
nor obstruction to the hastening that Bill which everybody 
seemed to like. 

The Irish Parliament, Lord Chancellor Methuen wrote, were 
greatly disappointed at the delay. They were eager to open the 
campaign against the priests "inasmuch as the late rebellion had 
been notoriously promoted by the Catholic clergy and the public 
safety was endangered by the presence of so many of them." The 
Bill therefore soon became law. 



Sec. 1. All popish archbishops, bishops, vicars-general, deans, 
Jesuits, monks, friars and all other regular popish clergy, and all 
papists exercising any ecclesiastical jurisdiction, shall depart out 
of this kingdom before the 1st of May 1698 ; If any of the said 
ecclesiastical persons shall be at any time after the said 1st of 
May 1698 within the kingdom, they and every of them 
shall suffer imprisonment until he or they shall be transported 
beyond seas ; and if any person so transported shall return 
again into this kingdom, they and every of them shall be 
guilty of high treason and suffer and forfeit as in case of high 

Sec. 3. From and after the 29th of December 1697 no popish 
archbishop, bishop, vicar-general, dean, nor any other papist 
exercising ecclesiastical jurisdiction not established by the laws 
of this kingdom, Jesuit or friar, shall come into this kingdom 
from any part beyond the seas, on pain of twelve months im- 
prisonment, and then to be transported, and if any such popish 
ecclesiastical person so transported, shall again return into 
this kingdom, he and they so offending shall be guilty of high 
treason and suffer accordingly. 

Sec. 4. Any person who shall knowingly harbour, relieve, conceal 
or entertain any such popish ecclesiastic shall for the first offence 
forfeit 20, for the second offence 40, and for the third offence 
all his lands of inheritance or freehold during his life, and also 
all his goods and chattels, one moiety to the King and the other 
moiety (if not exceeding 100) to the informer ; the forfeiture 
for the third offence to be recovered by bill, plaint, information, 
or action for debt in any of the courts of Record at Dublin or 
at the assizes. 

Sec. 5. As to the said forfeitures of 20 and 40, justices of peace 
upon information on oath may summon the persons, and inquire 
and levy the same by distress, sale or otherwise, and dispose of 
one moiety to the informer and the other moiety to the treasurer 
for the use of the county ; and in default of payment to commit 
to prison until payment. 

Sec. 8. Justices of peace may apprehend and commit all popish 
ecclesiastics who remain in this kingdom contrar}^ to this act, 
, and suppress all monasteries, friaries, nunneries or other popish 
fraternities or societies. 

Sec. 9. They shall give account in writing of their proceedings 
in execution of this act, at the next general quarter sessions 
to be there entered and registered. 

Sec. 10. If any justice of the peace shall neglect doing his duty 
in execution of this act, he shall forfeit 100, one moiety to the 
King and the other to the informer, and be disabled from serving 
as a justice of peace during his life. 


At first blush it might seem impossible to enforce such a law, 
encountered as government would be at every step by an angry, 
overwhelming population. Yet for a time the impossible was 
achieved and the act obtained a considerable measure of success. 
Though the results of Section 1 are known with singular exactness, 
it is to be regretted that few details of the process are extant. 
Not only have the county documents perished but the records of 
the executive for this period are gone, having been burnt presumably 
in the fire of 1711. 

In December, 1697, the Lords Justices Winchester and Galway 
issued instructions to the mayors, sheriffs and other magistrates 
that the obnoxious ecclesiastics were to be compelled to enter into 
bonds to appear before the Council in Dublin when required. The 
services of the Protestant dignitaries were also enlisted. From a 
letter of the Jesuit superior dated Waterford, 30th December, 
1697, it appears that four days previous all the priests of that 
city were cited before the Protestant bishop and dean there to 
give evidence as to whether they belonged to a religious order or, 
if secular priests, what their ecclesiastical status was. But govern- 
ment was not dependent upon the magistrates, however active, or 
the parsons, however bigotted. If it were, the task to which it 
had set itself would have been beyond its strength. What in- 
quisition could discover the regulars, scattered as they were through 
the country and working as missionary priests, for nearly all the 
communities had been broken up ? Or what rewards or what 
punishments could bring in the bishops and vicars, cherished and 
protected by a people who would neither be cowed by fear nor 
tempted by cupidity ? Besides the ordinary magistracy the 
government had now at its service a well trained intelligence 
department. Scattered through every part *of the country were 
the collectors and surveyors of the forty revenue districts. These* 
in their quest for quit-rents and hearth money, for smugglers 
and illicit distillers, for hawkers and pedlars might be relied upon 
to furnish full particulars of the priests. And so in fact they did. 
The Lord Justices, 5th February, 1698, published a proclamation. 
The Romish prelates, they said, have been busy holding ordinations, 
especially of regulars, to appoint them to cures or parishes, so 


that they may remain in Ireland, contrary to the Act. Moreover 
it is believed that many prelates will change their names and 
addresses, and remain in the kingdom. A return is to be made 
showing the name and place of abode of every priest on 27th July 
last, and if since removed whither and when, who succeeded him 
and from where, and if the successor has ever been reputed a 
regular. Finally all strangers come into the neighbourhood 
since 25th September are to be similarly reported on. At the same 
time the following instructions were issued : 


Wee thinking it necessary in order to his Majesties service and 
security and the peace of this kingdom that an account be taken 
of the number of the Romish clergy as well fryers as secular 
priests in Ireland do therefore hereby pray and direct you forth- 
with to send orders to such of your collectors as were appointed 
receivers of the late Poll tax with all convenient speed to make 
inquiry of the severall clerks who were employed in making 
up the Books of the said Tax within their respective districts 
and to inform themselves by such other ways and meanes as 
they see fitt what priests and fryars are now in each County 
Citty and Town and return to you their number and names, 
distinguishing the regulars from the secular clergy and noteing the 
places of their respective aboades which account when returned 
to you is to be laid before us and for so doing this shall be your 
warrant. 4 December 1697. 

To the Commissioners for the managment of his Majesty's 

Of the returns made, a solitary one is preserved, owing to the 
fact that it passed from the Council Office into Archbishop Math's 
possession and so escaped the fire of 1711. This may excuse its 
being printed at full length. 

A Particular Account of the Romish Clergy Secular and Regular 
in every parrish of .the Dioceses of Dublin. 

St. Andrew's parrish March the 2 1697[8]. 
- Edmund Murphy parish priest supposed vicar generall. 
Thomas Austin his assistant 

Neagle priest at Patrick Andrew's house in Bridge 
Secular j street. 

] Patrick Luttrell at Wm. Daylys att the sign of the sun 

in Cooke St. 

Jeremiah Netterville Preist at the sign of the Harpe in 
Cooke St. 



,., , 

Thomas Marshall ^ 

James ffannin ! All Dominican ffriars at the Con- 

James Egan j vent in Cooke St. 

Christopher FarrellJ 

Bryan Kennedy \ St. Augustine ffryers att the Convent 

wmiam Brynan J in St Andeon Arch. 

Edward Chamberlain Jesuit living neere the Convent in 

Cooke St. 
Arthur Walsh a Carmelite att the Convent in Corne 


These are all that are at present to be found butt there are others 
who were lately in the parish that are now withdrawne and 
supposed to be sculking about the towne and they are as follows : 
R. Johnson a Jesuit who did live att Mr. Synotts on Merchants Key. 

st}^ both Hved in Bridge St. 

( Clement Ash \ 
R. j Bryan Lehanny Uvere formerly Augustine ffriers. 

IMichall manelly) 
One Dalfin and some other ffriers whose names cannot be found 

out did lately belong to the Convent of Carmelites. 
There are severall lay brothers belonging to each of the Convents. 

St. Nicholas parrish : 
James Russell 
Valentine Rivers 
Bryan Murray 

S. < Jerome Netervil > Priests. 

Patrick Luttrell 

I William Ryan 

\Emer Meginnis , 

The seven secular priests above named are obliged to officiate and 

say mass in the Chappie of St. Michaels parish and no where 

else for the part of seven parishes, viz. St. Michaels, St. John, 

St. Nicholas, St. Werburghs, St. Audeons, St. Brides and St. 


St. Michans parrish : 
William Dalton parish priest Lodgeing at Figham off Brahams, 

Barber in Smith Field. 
James Gibbons Priest Assistant to William Dalton at the 

Chappie in Channel row lodging at Mrs. Ellestons in Channel 


John Linegar Priest Lodging at Widdow Lenigars in Church St. 
Laurence Dowdall Iddgeing att Mathias Burgenes in Church St. 
Richard Murphy priest lodging at Edmund Reynolds in Smith 

William Dardis parish Priest of Abby Lorha in the Co. of 

Longford living at Mathew Barritts in smith field. 



R. John Weldon Capucin frier lodging at Luke Dowdalls in 

smith field. 

St. Marys Parish : 
S. Fergus Farrell priest Chaplain to the lady Castlehaven who 

lives in Capell St. neer the Mint. 

St. Johns Parish : 
S. Russell parish priest of St. Johns and titular Dean of St. 

Patricks Dublin living in Backlane. 
No regular can be found in this parish. 

St. Werburghs parish : 
S. James Russell parish priest of the parish of St. Werburghs 

lodgeing at Mrs. Groghans in Cooke St. 
No regular can be found in this parish. 

St. Andrews parish : 

S. Russell parish priest of St. Andrews Dublin. 
No regular can be found in this parish. 

St. Nicholas within the walls : 

S. James Russell parish priest of St. Nicholas living in Cooke St. 
No regular can be found in this parish. 

St. Nicholas without the walls : 

S. Dr Edmund Burne parish priest of St. Nicholas without the walls. 
Dowdall assistant to Dr. Burne. 
Terence Smith now in the country. 
Regulars of the order of St. Francis : 
f Ignatius Kelly 
John Handley 
R. John Brady 

^ Phillip Brady . 

Francis Cruse Now m the cc > untr y- 
Anthony Lynch 
! Dunlevi 

I Browne 

St. Peters parish : 
No secular or regular clergy in this parish. 

St. Bridgetts parish : 
No secular or regular clergy in this parish. 

St. Katherins parish : 

c /Mr. Brofhy parish priest of St. Katherins 
\Thomas Cumberfort his assistant. 
Valentin Rivers a priest only a lodger in St. Katherins parish 

but officiates in St. Michaels parish. 
R. Br37en McTernan a Jesuite. 


County of Dublin. 

Donnybrooke and Rathfarnane Parishes. 

Doctor Cruse Titular Archdeacon of Dublin living in the Co. 
of Kildare. 


Thady Kelly parish priest of Rathfarnane Tallaght etc. he * 
lives for the most part within the union of Tallaght. 

Mr. Patrick Gilmore parish priest of Donnybrooke and Kil- I 
gobbin living for the most part within the union of Monks- " - ' 

No regular clergy in these parishes. ' 

Swords parish : 
S. Christopher Walsh priest of Kinsally, Cloghnan and Swords / 

living in Swords. 

John Jones his Assistant living with him. ' 

Thomas Smith parish priest of Mallahide living there at Mr. i 

Edmund Murphy priest of Killossey living at Rowlingstown ' 

in that parish. 
There are no regulars in these parishes. 

Parish of Lusk and Holmpatrick : 
S. Fr. Joseph Walsh parish priest of both parishes living at Knock- I 

drummon in the parish of Lusk. 
Fr. William Shanley Assistant to the said Fr. Walsh residing .' 

at Bolcunny in the parish of Lusk. 
Fr. Patrick McAnerrany at Rogerstown in said parish. 
Fr. Whitehead at Gracedieu in the said parish. 

Parishes of Donebate and Portraan : J \ p. 

S. Fr. Charles Ternan parish priest of both parishes living at ' - 

No regular can bee found in these parishes. 

Parishes of Howth Baldoyle Portmarnock and Balgrimn. 
S. Charles Smith parish priest of Howth etc. living in Baldoyle. 
No regular can be found in these parishes. 

Parishes of Santry and Coolock : 

Richard Cahill parish priest living at Artain in parish of J C 

Parish of Killsallaghan : 
S. Scallery priest of the one part of Killsallaghan living at Dun- i 

sallaghan in the parish of Finglas. 
Murphy priest of the other part of the parish of Killsallaghan ! ... 

living at Fieldstown. 
No regular can be found in this parish. 

Parish of Garistown : 

S. Robert Tayler parish priest of Garristown living at Tober- f ^ .... 
gragan in sd. parish. 

Parish of Hollywood and Naal : , <-. 

S. Owen Smith parish priest living at Mallahide in said parish. .'.--"- 

Parishes of Ballrothery and Ballscadden : 

S. Andrew Finglass parish priest living at Toberstown being 80 i S 
years old lame and blind. 


John Coghran his assistant living in same house with him. 
No regulars in this parish. 

The Union of Clonmethan . 

Edmund Murphy priest living in Rowlandstown in the Barony 
S. of Castleknock hath the parish of Clonmethan in the Barony 
of Nethercrosse, the parish of Palmerstown in the Barony 
of Ballrothery, the parish of Killsallaghan in the Barony 
of Castleknock the parish of Killestry in the Barony of 

Robert Tayler priest living in Tobergragan hath the parish of 

Garristown and Ballmadun in the Barony of Ballrothery. 

Owen Smith priest living at Mallahide hath the parish of Naal, 

Westpellstown, Hollywood Ballyboghill all in the Barony 

of Ballrothery. 

Parish of Finglass : 
R. Bartholomew Scully serves the parishes of Finglass St. 

Margarets and the Ward. 
R. Fr. Kale serves the parish of Artaine living at Mr. Hollywoods. 

, - Parish of Castleknock : 

S. Patrick Cruse Dr Devinity living for the most part at William 

Andrews of Hollywood in the parish of Mallahide. 
Walter Cruse his assistant lately kept at one Dempsies of 

Blancetstown in the parish of Castleknock. 
No regular can be found in this parish. 

Parish of Clontarfe : 
,. R. Fr. Cole living at Mr. Hollywoods at Artaine serves the parish. 

Parishes of Chaple Isold Palmerston and Ballyfernott : 
! \ S. Fr. Doile living in the parish of Eseher officiates in the whole 
; union. 

No regular can be found in these parishes. 

Parishes of Newcastle and Kill : 

S. Fr. William Brett parish priest of Newcastle, Fr. Dominic 
Dempsey parish priest of Kill, Fr. Patrick Duffy his Assistant. 
No regular can be found. 

Parishes of Rathcoole, Killteele Rathmore etc. : 
S. William Brett parish priest of Rathcoole and Saggard living 
I at Newcastle. 

Dominic Dempsey living at Lyons in Co. of Kildare officiating 
at Rathmore by a substitute. Patrick Duffy his substitute 
, living in no settled place. 

Fr. James Eustace parish priest of Cradockstown living with 

Coll Richard Eustace in the parish of Ballymore Eustace. 

' Fr. Owen Pye parish priest of Killbride living on the mountains 

in the parish of Blessington. 
No regular can be found in these parishes. 


Parishes of Talloght and Clondolkin : 

S. Thady Kelly parish priest of Talloght living in the ffarr house. 
Oliver Doyle parish priest of Clondolkin living at Esker. 
No regular can be found. 

Parishes of Lucan Leixlip etc. : x 

S. Oliver Doyle priest of Lucan living at Esker. ; \ 

John Duffy priest of Leixlip and Manocth usually lives at 

Cartowne in the parish of Manooth. 

R. Daniel McKan Fryer living generally with Mr. Nothingham i ,p 
at Lucan sometimes at Major Aliens of St. Woolstans. 

County of Kildare. 

Parishes of Castledermott Dunmonogs, Kilkea, Grange, etc. : - 

S. Henry Dalton parish priest of Castledermott, Dunmonogs, 

Kilkea Grange Nolron Killclan Kineigh and Granny = --- 
officiates, living at Castledermot. 
R. Edmund Shiel his Assistant lives and officiates in the parish 

of Killelan. 

R. James Eustace a Franciscan lives and officiates in the parish 
of Dunmonoge. 

Union of Killdraught : 
S. William Tipper very aged living on his own inheritance in f 

James Warren priest in the parishes of Killdraught and Straff an 

no certain habitation. 
R. James Fitzgerald inhabiting commonly att Ardrass at one 

Captain Maurice Garretts in the parish of Killadowen. 
R. Daniel Markee alias Marcan inhabiting commonly at St. 
Wolstans and Newbridge. 

Parishes of Taghtow and Laraghbrine : 

S. John Duff parish priest living at Old Cartown in the parish of / .-- 
Laraghbrine. . - 

No regulars can be found in these parishes. 

County of Wicklow. 

Parishes of Brey Rathmichaell Stagonill als Powerscourt : 
S. John Talbott living at Rochestown neare Dalkey in the parish 
of Monkstown and officiates as parish priest of Rathmichaell 
Killternan and Old Conoght. 

Richard FitzSimons living at Kilmecanoage in the parish of :' 
Delgenny and officiates in the parish of Stagonill alias 
No regulars in these parishes. 

Parish of Delgenny : 

S. Seneca FitzWilliam parish priest of Delgenny and Newcastle. / 
Richard FitzSimmons parish priest of Killmekenoge. 
No regulars in these parishes. -"""^T' 


Parish of Monckstowne etc. : 
S. Henry Talbott parish priest living at Rochestown Officiates 

at Cabbanteely Dalkey and Bullock. 
Patrick Gilmare parish priest of Stillorgan living att Newtown 

on the strand and officiates at Butterstown. 
No regulars can be found. 

Wicklow and the United Parishes : 
S. Maurice Bryan parish priest living at Ballynockan in union 

of Wicklow. 

William Cavenah parish priest of Ballydonnell belonging to 
Wicklow and of Dunganstown belonging to the Archdeacon 
of Dublin. 

Edmund McGin parish priest of Castro McAdam annexed to 
Wicklow and some other parishes belonging to the union of 

R. Bemardine Plunkett \Fryars living at Croneroe in union of 
Peter Cahel J Wicklow. 

Parish of Rathdrum : 
S. Philemon Me Abe parish priest of Deralasaragh living in sd 

William Cavenogh parish priest of Innisbohen living in said 

Charles Byrn parish priest of Rathdrum having no settled 

No regular can be found in these parishes. 

Parish of Arcloe with the Parishes united unto it : 
S. Patrick FitzWilliam parish priest of Arcloe living at Kilmicheil. 
Edmund McGinn parish priest of Killmajig living at Bellana. 
Charles Cavenagh parish priest of Inorcly living in parish of 

Enisbeen of which he is likewise priest. 

R. James Cocklan priest of the Convent of Dominicans in Arcklow. 
Thomas Caho one of the friers of the said Order and Convent. 
Dominick Oran of the same. 

Parish of Ballymore : 
Owen McAntee. 

Parish of Blessington : 
No regular or secular clergy in this parish. 

Parish of Hollywood : 
S. Patrick Kernan parish priest, no regular clergy in this parish. 

County of Kildare. 

Parishes of Killcullen and Davidstown : 

S. Bryan McCabe parish priest of Davidstown living at Blackball. 
John Kelly parish priest of Kilcullen living at Nicholstown. 
,- No regular in these parishes. 




Parish of Dunlavin : 
Father Patrick [ ] parish priest living comonly at one 

Eustace of Calverstown. 
Father Brian [ ] parish priest of Narraghmore having no 

particular place of abode. 
No information wether they bee secular or regular. 

Parish of Athy : 
S. John Fitzsimons parish priest of Athy and the parts contiguous 

to it living in the town of Athy. 

Manus Quigley living at Grangemellon with one Mr. Fitzpatrick. 
Henry Dalton priest of parish of Moon officiates at Castle- 


R. Richard Cuddy a Dominican Fryer living for the most part 
in Athy. 

Parish of Fonstowne : 

Brian McCabe parish priest living at Blackball in parish of 

Citty of Dublin parish of St. Pauls : 

Fr. Dempsey parish priest of St. Michans is said to be a Titular 

Bishop and lodges att my Lady Clanmalieras in said parish. 

William Darditt calls himself parish priest of Abby Lorha in 

the Co. of Longford he is said to be a Regular. 
Fr. James Gibbons said to bee a Jesuit butt calls himselfe 
assistant to Fr. Dalton who is butt an assistant himselfe to 
ffather Dempsey. 
Richard Murphy calls himself secular priest lodging now in 

Bridge St. 

R. Fr. John Weldon Capuchin ffryer lodging in Smith field. 
R. father Neterville a Jesuit lodges on the Key at Dr. Cruses house. 
Father Bermingham sometimes in the parish of St. Pauls 
sometimes in Cooke street. 

Parish of St. Jamess : 
Return made by St. Katherines for both being united. 

From the returns received from the several revenue districts the 
following digest was prepared: 








Whereof 1 Dean. [In] Barony of 

Cremorne [said to be] 14 or 15 











Whereof 1 Dean and Vicar Generall. 




Whereof 1 Vicar-Generall 

Coleraine ....' 14 


Cork Port ....; 8 


Cork Excise ...j 18 


Whereof 1 Bishop. 

/" * 










Whereof 1 Vicar Generall 


No Roll. 




One Lord Abbot. 

Dublin Port .... 



Dublin County 












Gall way Port .... 



Gallway Excise 



1 Bishop 2 Vicars-Gen. 2 Provincial 

9 Priors and Guardians. 







One Abbot, a great and dangerous 










No distinction whether secular 



Londonderry .... 


Maryburrow .... 









One Vicar-Generall. 













1 Archdeacon 1 Vicar-Generall 






1 Bishop. 













Total 1,237. 

The districts of Ballytrain, Belfast, Carrickfergus, Ballycastle, 
Larne, Newry, and Ross are wanting but returns came in later, 
making a total of eight hundred and ninety-two seculars and four 
hundred and ninety-five regulars. 

Though the bishops, vicars-general and other dignitaries in 
many instances seem to have eluded observation, the fullness and 
minute accuracy of these returns show how completely the clergy 
were in the grip of the government. Unlike in the time of Charles II 
when priests were caught with the snare and bait as if, they were 
held now in a close net. What little hope the regulars had of 


being able to keep in the country may be gathered from a few 
documents remaining in the "Parliamentary Returns." The 
following bears evidence of the haste with which it was drawn up. 

In nomine Domini. Amen. 
Congregatio Difhnitorii Dublinii hae die 15 feb 1697, sequentia 

punctae erant propositae. 
Primum An expediat ut fratres se conf erant ad partes ultra marinas 

juxta decreta Parliament! ? 
2 um An cum vel sine obedientialibus ? 
3 um An fit supplicandum rectoribus Gubernii quo [dispensetur] 

decrepitis et senio confectis nostrae Religionis patribus ? 
4 um Quid de novitiis ? 

Monet venerabile Definitorium ut utensilia sacra et etiam domestica 
majoris momenti distribuenda inter Benefactores Conventibus 
magis addictos (qui proprio chirographo agnoscant ista recepisse 
hocque de consensu Discretorum Conventus). Injungimus ut 
hujusmodi nulla ant oppignorare aut alienare valeant eorumque 
inventorium in manu Syndicii relinquant. Advertendum in 
inventorio praefato specificandas esse personas quibus praefata 
bona fuerint comissa, illasque ac Syndicum non venditores esse 
ut nee bona nee inventorium ulli dent nisi de consensu com- 
munitatis istius conventus ad quos spectant vel Diffinitorii. 
Et guardianus quilibet teneatur exemplar istius inventorii trans- 
mittere ad Patrem Provincialem vel Diffinitorium istius plagae. 

Ad l um R. Obediendum esse decreto Parliamenti. 

Ad2 um R. affirmative. 

Ad3 um R. Affirmative. 

Ad 4 um R. transmittendos esse in aliquibus patribus gravibus. 

De recordato R. A. P. Nostri provincialis et Diff. 
A few of the inventories will enable one to realise the breaking 
up of the friars' households. 

I It is agreed by the consent of the Guardian and discreets of this 

Convent of Kilconnell that the goods of the Convent be disposed 

of as f olloweth : 
1. A chestfull of books to Mr. Francis Blake of Ballinderry. 
J2. Chest full of books to Mr. Hugh McKige of Stiregan. 
J3. All our Vestments to Mr. Charles Daly, Calm. 
J4. To sell our brewing pan and pewter dishes and brass candle 

sticks, black potts, spitts and one brass Kittle to Madam A. 

Daly of Calm. 
J5. To sell all our tember to James McGuff, our chests, a cupard as 

also our genmells, beddsteeds, tabells and chayrs. 

That all the ffathers may sell theyr oats and have it for to beare 

theyr charges and same to be divided by the Guardian to eatch 

of them respectively. 


7. To sell all our barells bigg and small to James McGuff. 

8. That all the Chattels and provision may be sold and distributed 
to the fathers respectively with the price of our farm and all 
the rest of our household stuff which distribution is to be don 
by the Guardian and discreets. 

All the above acts were agreed on this 14th day of March 1697-8 
by us. fr. JOHN KELLY Guardian of Killconell 

fr. A. K. Disc. 

The following is the inventory of an Augustinian house in 
the same county, Galway. 

The Inventory of the goods and chattels deposited in the hands 
of Mr. Augustine Bodkin of Cluncoighe by the friers of the 
Convent of Dunmore videlicet fr. Christopher Dillon pryor of 
the said Convent, fr. William Egan, fr. Symon Moran sub pryor 
of the said Convent is as followeth. 

Imprimis 4 cowes whereof 2 are in calfe and the other two milch 
with their calfs, 4 strappers, 1 Bull of three years, 1 dry Cow, 

2 heafers, 1 bullock of 2 yeares, 2 half yearlings, 3 mars whereof 
some in fole. 

The household goods. 

1 Copper pan which contains 2 Barrells, and 3 black potts, 1 Iron 
spitt, 6 brass candle stickes, 1 pewter flaggon, 2 pewter dishes, 

3 half barrell casks, 4 Barrell casks, 3 Keews, 3 chesks, 1 long 
table and a short one, 2 small each to contain half a barrell, 

1 wood fferkin, 1 small vessell, 1 payre of stools, 2 table clothes, 
3 napkins, 3 towells, a mettle griddle, 1 Iron crowe, 1 picke axe, 

2 spades, 1 wooden shovell with an Iron head, beside some 
wooden trenches, wooden chambeyrotts and some other small 

Whereas certain writyngs and agreements bearing date 10th 
ffeby past betwixt me the undernamed Augustine Bodkin and 
the friers of the Convent of Dunmore videlicet Christopher 
Dillon William Egan and Symon Moran touching and concerning 
the foregoing goods and chattels of the said Convent now deposited 
in my hands in trust as more at large may appear by the said 
written agreement Know all men that I the said Augustine 
Bodkin do hereby and by these presents acknowledge to have 
received into my possession the goods and chattels mentioned 
in the above Inventory on trust for the above named friers 
and the said Convent and to no other end and intention than 
to preserve the same for the use of the said friers and Convent 
aforesaid. We therefore have hereunto putt our hands and 
fixed our scales the 19 day of April in the year 1698, etc. 

In another document we find. 
The true meaning of the said Agreement is that whereas an Act 


of Parliament for banishing all papists exercising any ecclesias- 
tical jurisdiction and all Regulars of the Romish clergy etc. 
We the said friars have therefore agreed and consented to put 
our trust and confidence in our well beloved Augustine Bodkin 
to take into his custody the said chattels and household goods 
to be kept for us and for our use in maner following that is to 
say the said Augustine Bodkin is to possess and enjoy the farm 
of Derrynegran (which now the said friars hold from him under 
a certain rent) for his own use, provided always that if the 
Government should dispense with the Catholic clergy so as not 
to transport us the friars of the said Convent and that we or any 
of us should come to live together again, the said Augustine 
Bodkin is to lett us have the said farm of Derrynegran according 
to our lease to the expirey thereof. April 19 1698. 

Soon after Christmas, 1697, the Irish government made pre- 
paration for transporting the prelates and regulars. A proclamation 
was published 3rd January, 1698, which after reciting the Act, 
announced that shipping would be ready in certain ports 
named, and that the priests on going aboard would be at once 
discharged their recognisances. The process of shepherding them 
to the ports next went on. King William however, was getting 
anxious about the effect on the public opinion of Europe. The 
Lords Justices assured him that everything would be carried out 

with as little noise as possible. 

Dublin Castle 10 Feby 1697-8. 

Sir We have received your letter of the 1st instant and will take 
care according to His Majesty's directions that shipping be 
provided for the transportation of the Regulars of the Romish 
clergy who are ordered by a late Act of Parliament to leave 
this kingdom and we likewise considered what money it may 
be proper to give to each of them for their present subsistence 
at the place of landing that we may observe his Majesty's pleasure 
therein. . We remain etc. 

Rt. Hon. Jas. Vernon Esq., WINCHESTER, GALWAY. 

The contemporary flight of the Huguenots from France has 
been told by their pastors Benoit and Claude in memoirs which 
will be read as long as the French language exists. While the Irish 
more suo raised clamour enough no one set -himself to gather the 
story of the exodus .from the lips of the banished clergy. The 
loss of the official accounts is deplorable ; much more do we miss 
those detailed narratives of personal suffering which alone would 
enable one to realize this terrible time. What life-story could be 


of more moving interest than that of some O'Heyne or McHugh 
smuggled as boys put to the continent to be educated returning 
in disguise to exercise their ministry in bogs and mountains 
hunted from the country in the days of the Popish Plot, and now 
again after a gleam of peace, driven forth in old age "to find" in 
the words of the Annalist "their graves in strange places and un- 
hereditary churches." 

The numbers of the priests shipped from the different ports 
during the early months of 1698 as reported by Captain South in 
the Philosophical Transactions for that year, were 

Dublin .... .... 153 

Galway .... .... 190 

Cork 75 

Waterford .... .... 26 

These were landed some in Lisbon, some in Corunna but most 
in the French ports, Nantes, St. Malo and Dunkirk. Of their 
subsequent fortunes we catch only fitful glimpses. 



Reports from Ireland are just as bad [as from England.] The 
Prince of Orange heedless of all his fine promises to his allies 
even during the peace congress at Ryswick, has sanctioned a 
new law for extermining "Popery." This law, which among 
other enactments, orders the expulsion of all Religious Orders 
has been put in force there by Ruvigny (Lord Galway) so that 
the unhappy religious are fleeing in crowds to France. Within a 
few months as many as 400 have fjed. This puts a new burthen 
on me, and I feel the torture of seeing them with my own eyes 
dying of want, after having shared with them what I needed 
for my own support. 

The Queen of James II, the gentle, pious Mary of Modena, 
writes to Madam Priolo in a similar strain. 

I hope that on this occasion we shall have time to talk over things 
at our ease. Alas, it will be about very gloomy subjects for 
there are no others about which to speak. I cannot even keep 
myself from telling you outright in order to excite your com- 
passion, and increase your devotion and that of all the dear 
sisters in their prayers. All the regular priests of the Irish 
mission numbering about 700 have been already hunted out of 
that country. There are just now near 400 of them in France, 
the others are in Spain and Portugal or in Flanders and Italy. 
I have seen several of them and they have touched me deeply. 


They tell us of events in that country which make the heart 
bleed, and if this continues, to all appearance our holy religion 
will be uprooted in that kingdom and in others as well. I dare 
not dwell longer on this painful subject but I confess to you 
that I am full of it and so much affected that I do not want to 
see anyone. 

Some months later the condition of the outcast priests ap- 
parently had not improved for we find Mathew Prior, the English 
ambassador in Paris writing to Lord Portland, August, 1698: 

Collections have been made in all the churches of Paris for the 
poor Irish priests whom the late Act of Parliament sent from 
that kingdom. The Archbishop of Paris may be a very holy 
man but he is a very ill geographer if he takes Ireland to be La 
Grande Bretagne. 

Secretary Vernon replied that he was glad of the Archbishop's 
charity adding "I hope the Irish friars will flock to him to partake 
of it and not slip over hither as it is apprehended." The sums 
thus collected amounted to about 35,000 livres. But the refugee 
priests found a still more influential benefactor. ' Early in August 
Queen Mary of Modena, wrote to the Duke of Tuscany bespeaking 
a good reception for Father Bermingham, provincial of the Irish 
Augustinians, and Father Garland, definitor of the Franciscans, 
who were on their way to the Pope to represent the state of the 
distressed clergy. As a result of their mission no less than 27,364 
livres were granted by the Holy Father for the six months ending 
17th January, 1699. From the accounts of the distribution we 
learn that the number of the banished clergy in Paris and the 
neighbourhood amounted to three hundred and eighty- three. 
There were one hundred and eighteen Dominicans, two hundred 
and fourteen Franciscans, twenty-six Augustinians, twelve Capucins, 
five Jesuits, five Canons Regular, three Carmelites (y). 

When news of the penal legislation in Ireland reached the 
Continent and the expatriated priests began to be unloaded in 
scores at the different ports, a cry of anger and indignation went 
up through Europe. Its echo was heard in Ireland. 


We have been advised that in several foreign courts, it has been 
industriously circulated that his Majesty's papist subjects of 

(y) Spicilegium Ossoriense II, pp. 347 seq. 


Ireland are persecuted here on matters of opinion purely. We 
have therefore caused to be collected a summary account of the 
several penal laws in force now in this kingdom against any 
persons of that persuasion and the ground or occasion of them, 
which we do herewith enclosed transmitt to you if you think 
it proper by a view thereof his Majestys ministers in the courts 
where these complaints are made, may be the better enabled to 
give an answer to them, that we hope may be satisfaction to all 
unprejudiced persons. 

Not only were strong protests made to the English ministers 
abroad but the foreign ambassadors in England were instructed 
to bring pressure on the government. The greatest of the Catholic 
sovereigns, Louis XIV, was powerless. His treatment of the 
Huguenots put him out of court, and hence his instructions to 
Count Tallard, 2nd March, 1698, were merely to do what he could 
without leaving the English government any opening to bargain 
for the French refugees (z) . The Emperor Leopold was in a different 
position. He had been the ally of William and without his help 
the conquest of England would have been impossible. Further- 
more when William was setting out on the Irish campaign the 
Emperor exacted a promise that the Irish Catholics were to be 
guaranteed religious liberty. Two days after Louis had written 
to Tallard, the Emperor instructed Count Auersperg. 

I have learnt with a heavy heart the accounts of the Catholics 
in Ireland and that the new legislation aims at the entire ex- 
tirpation of the Catholic religion. This is in direct contradiction 
to the promise which the King made me at the beginning of his 
reign ; it violates the Treaty of Limerick ; is destroys confidence 
between allies of different religions. Nor will the evil be removed 
by the plea that the King had to give his sanction but that he 
will prevent the laws from being enforced. The King is mortal 
like other men, and when he is gone, these laws may be enforced 
in their full rigour. It is therefore my will and express order 
that you take the earliest opportunity to point out to the King 
not only the injustice of his policy but its inconsistency with 
his promise to me and with the Treaty of Limerick (aa). 

Auersperg lost no time in carrying out his instructions. "Not 
only were the regulars expelled but the bishops also. Those who 
expelled the bishops," he told Secretary Vernon, "by making the 

(2) Grimblot I, p. 281. 

(aa) Der Fall des Hauses Stuart Klopp. VIII, p. 202. 


ordination of priests impossible, intended to extirpate the Catholic 
religion." Vernon pleaded that the measure was prompted solely 
~by political prudence ; the regulars especially being all Jacobites. 
The ambassador however, pressed the case, and Methuen, the 
Irish Chancellor,, was sent by William to talk him over. "By 
order of the King I am to inform you that he fully mindful of his 

promise will act according to it He could not refuse 

to sanction the bill but in many particulars it will not be enforced. 
No harm will be done to religion and there will be no violation of 

the Treaty of Limerick The regulars have no houses ; 

they live on alms, and the people are too poor to support them. 
Besides they are working night and day against the government. 

They cannot be tolerated but no dignitary will be 

expelled still less will Catholic worship be interfered with." When 
some weeks later Auersperg learnt that four bishops had been 
transported, Lord Galway wrote from Dublin "only one has left." 
Such is the game of blink, bluff and bargain known as diplomacy. 
What were the facts ? 

Of the twenty-five sees, the Roman authorities owing to the 
troubles, had ventured to fill only sixteen, the rest being held in 
administration. The sixteen bishops were : 

Northern province Armagh, Dominic Maguire ; Ardagh and 
Clonmacnoise, Gregory Fallen ; Dromore, Patrick Donnelly ; 
Derry and Raphoe, Laurence Lea. Western province Tuam, 
James Lynch ; Elphin, Dominic Burke ; Killala and Kilmac- 
duagh, Ambrose Madden ; Clonfert, Maurice Donnellan. Cashel 
province Cashel, Edward Comerford ; Limerick and Killaloe, 
John Moloney ; Cork and Cloyne, John Sleyne ; Waterford, 
Richard Piers. Dublin province Dublin, Peter Creagh ; Kildare, 
John Dempsey ; Ossory, William Dalton ; Ferns, Michael Rossiter. 

As has been seen, the revenue officers in their search for 
ecclesiastics exercising papal jurisdiction, had been able to locate 
only three bishops, viz., Clonfert, W T aterford, and Cork. It may be 
interesting to trace the fortunes of the others. The Primate, 
Dominic Maguire, was living at St. Germain on a pension obtained 
through Pere La Chaise ; the archbishop of Dublin was maintained 
by a charge on the abbey of Marmoutier in the diocese of Strasburg, 


the archbishop of Tuam lived at St. Amand near Tournay on the 
charity of the abbot.. The bishop of Elphin found refuge in the 
Irish Franciscan house at Louvain. Drs. Moloney and Fallen 
were supported by their friends in Paris. All these had been 
outlawed at the Revolution and had not dared to return. In 
April, 1698, bishop Dalton of Ossory and Dempsey of Kildare in 
obedience to the proclamation set sail for France, Rossiter of Ferns, 
Madden of Killala, and Lea of Derry being only bishops-elect 
put themselves upon the people and took their chance at home. 
The archbishop of Cashel and the bishop of Dromore will be met 
with later on in these pages ; it remains to record the proceedings 
against the three bishops whose habitats had been discovered. 
The bishop of Clonfert long eluded capture but he was run to 

earth at last. 

Council Chamber Dublin, 30 April 1703. 

Whereas Donelan a titular popish Bishop stiling or calling himself 
Bishop of Clonfert was on the 30th day of March last with great 
force and violence and against the known laws of this kingdom, 
rescued and taken out of the custody of William Elliot, Neale 
Mountgomery, Edward Jones and William Feddericks in her 
Majesty's high way in the County of Galway by a great multitude 
of persons near 300 in number, some whereof were mounted on 
good horses and well armed and others on foot (the said popish 
bishop being before that time apprehended and then in custody 
as aforesaid by virtue of a warrant from one of her Majesty's 
Justices of the Peace for the said County) to the great terror 
of her Majesty's good subjects and endangering the peace of 
this kingdom. And the said William Elliott, Neale Mount- 
gomery, Edward Jones and William Feddericks had their arms 
taken from them and broken ; and the said Jones and Mount- 
gomery were in the said affray so greviously wounded that they 
are in danger of losing their lives ; since which time the said 
rioters are dispersed but the influence and power of the said 
titular popish bishop and other the popish clergy and gentry 
in that country is so great that few or none of the said rioters 
can be discovered, and the said bishop is relieved, harboured 
and concealed by persons evilly affected to her Majesty's 

We therefore strictly charge all her Majesty's officers in this 
kingdom within their several jurisdictions to make diligent 
search after the said titular popish bishop and after all persons 
who were aiding in the rescuing of him, to apprehend and send 
to gaol the said bishop and bind the said rioters with sufficient 
security to appear at the next general assizes. We require the 


Sheriff of the said county to make use of the power of his country 
for the apprehension of said bishop if the same cannot be other- 
wise done. And for the better discovering the said bishop, who- 
soever shall apprehend him or discover where he is so that he 
may be apprehended shall receive fifty pounds over and above 
what they are entitled to by any former law or proclamation. 

The bishop, who at this time was verging on seventy, soon 
after found relief, harbour and shelter in the grave. More fortunate 
however was Richard Piers, bishop of Waterford. He managed to 
hide himself so well that his neighbour the bishop of Ossory on 
arrival in Paris, June 1698, was only able to tell the Nuncio "it 
is reported he is in Spain." For nearly two years and-a-half he 
lay perdu, and at length after some narrow escapes reached Paris 
towards the close of 1701. Of the bishop of Cork we have ample 
particulars. Arrested in 1698 he lay in Cork gaol for nearly three 
years without apparently attracting much notice. But some 
strange reports about him began to get out. It was said that he 
was celebrating mass and worse still ordaining priests in gaol. 
At length the scandal of his not having been transported stirred 
the Dublin executive into action. 


Whereas it hath been represented unto us that John Sleyne Titular 
Bishop of Cork now in the Gaol of the City of Cork where he 
has continued some years by reason of his Indisposition as he 
pretends, does there exercise his Function by frequent Ordinations. 
These are therefore to will and require you in pursuance of the 
power given unto us by an Act of Parliament made for banishing 
all papists exercising ecclesiastical lurisdiction out of this kingdom 
before the 1st day of May 1698, to cause the said John by the 
first convenient opportunity that shall offer to be Transported 
beyond Seas out of his Majesty's Dominions whereof all persons 
whom it may concearn are to take notice and for so doing this 
shall be a warrant. Given at his Majesty's Castle of Dublin the 
10th Day of March 1701. By their Excellencies Commands. 

To the Mayor and Sheriffs of the City of Cork and all others 
whom it may concern. 

This warrant apparently did not admit of much parley yet 


strange as it may seem the bishop remained untransported for two 
years longer. By that time the scandal had grown to national 
dimensions and the Committee of Grievances in Parliament took 


up the case. The correspondence that followed is still preserved. 
It will be convenient to take first the letter of the Rev. Roland 
Davies, Protestant Dean of Cork, though latest in point of date. 

Dawestown 4 Oct. 1703. 

Sr I received yours of September the 17 with an order enclosed 
for the Committee of Grievances requiring me to lay before 
them all fresh examinations and other papers as I have relating 
to the stay of the Titular Bishop of Cork in Ireland after the 
time prefixt by the Act of Parliament for his exportation as 
also concerning his exercising Ecclesiasticall Jurisdiction while 
he staid and likewise to give them a full account of all things 
that I know relating to that matter. And indeed Sir I would 
readily pay obedience with the greatest satisfaction to the said 
order if I had any such examinations or papers in my custody 
as they require. But uppon my word I have not the least 
scripp by me relating to that affair but whatever examinations 
I took at any time of that nature I took care to deliver them to 
the Clerk of the Crowne at the next following Assizes and there- 
fore suppose that (if in being) they are recorded in his office. 
I know very well that Dr. Sleyne the titular Bishop of Cloyne 
and Cork did continue in Cork some years after Regulars were 
exported and that many complaints were made by the Gentry 
and an address by the Grand Jury of the County for sending 
him away. But upon what account or by what means he was 
so long detained I declare that I am a perfect stranger to it. 
But as to the other particular I do well remember that about two 
years since one Dominick Gough a papist priest (who had been 
assistant to another in the parish of Youghall) complained to 
me as his friend that uppon the death of that other priest he was 
chosen by the people to. succeed in that employment and had a 
promise from the said Titular Bishop to be established in it. 
But wanting money to pay for his title the titular Bishop after- 
ward rejected him and did institute one Richard Harnett alias 
Hartnedy to be priest of the said parish. That Harnett there- 
upon came to Youghall and showed his institution to the said 
Gough and required his submission to it according to the canon 
but Gough believing that the said titular Bishop could not stay 
long in Ireland nor consequently exert any further dominion 
over him, refused to submit unto his order and continued not- 
withstanding to celebrate mass and do other offices as formerly 
in the town of Youghall. Whereupon the said Titular Bishop 
proceeded against him for it and he being contumacious, he 
decreed him excommunicated and Harnett thereupon publickly 
denounced him such in Youghall. I therefore knowing these 
proceedings to be exorbitant took this information from Gough 
uppon his oath and delivered it to the Clerk of the Crown at 
the next following assizes and uppon it an indictment was framed 



and Harriett was afterwards tryed and acquitted for want of 
prosecution but the titular Bishop being sent away in a little 
time after that information was returned by me there was no 
further prosecution against him. I have alsoe heard from 
some very good hands that there were some proceedings about 
the same time before the said Titular Bishop in a matrimoniall 
cause between John Bryn and Joan Walsh both of the Diocese 
of Cloyne but he was also sent away before he could give sentence 
in it and soe being undetermined by him it was commenced 
afterward in the Consistory Court of that Diocese. This is all 
uppon my word that I know or can give an account of in relation 
to that matter. I hope the Committee will believe that I have 
not much friendship for that party or their abettors as to conceal 
anything in favour to them which on so many accounts I am 
oblidged to discover. 

I am with all sincerity your most affectionate 

humble servant Row. DAVIES. 
Endorsed For Dr. Marmaduke Coghill these in Dublin. 

Someone was to blame for the delay in transporting the bishop. 
And the correspondence did not clear up the matter. On the 27th 
July, 1702, John Terry, Augustus Carr, with their fellows of the 
Grand Jury of Cork at the Summer Assizes presented the Popish 
Bishop and the Popish Vicar-General for exercising ecclesiastical 
jurisdiction contrary to the Act in that case made and provided. 
The presiding judge referred the matter to the Dublin Council. 

Dublin Castle, 8 August 1702. 

Sir The Lords Justices have desired me to send you the enclosed 
Warrant for the Transportation to Portugall of the Titular 
Bishop of Cork and a Fryar and also of one Martin a Fryar, 
which .will be brought you from Lymerick, order being sent 
thither by this night's post to send him forward to Corke. I am 
likewise commanded to acquaint you that what charges you are 
at in the Transporting these Fryars etc. will be repaid you by 
the Government upon notice thereof sent to Sir. Your most 
humble servant J. DAWSON. 

To the Mayor of Corke. 


Whereas by an Act of Parliament made for banishing all persons 
exercising any ecclesiastical jurisdiction and all regulars of the 
popish clergy out of this kingdom before the 1st day of May 
1698 etc. and whereas Dr. John Sleyne Titular Popish Bishop 
of Cork and Cloyne and Peter Morrough Titular Vicar-General 
of the Diocese of Corke committed and now remaining in custody 
pursuant to the said Act and whereas we have ordered Dr. 


Martin a Convicted Fryar now in Gaol at Lymerick to be sent 
from thence to Corke to be transported likewise according to 
the said Act. We do hereby signify our will and pleasure that 
the said Dr. John Sleyne, Peter Morrough and Martin and 
such other convicted Regular clergy as are now there shall be 
transported from Corke to any port in Portugall and there set 
on shoare and we hereby direct and require you to cause them 
to be put on board the first ship that shall be bound to any of 
those places in order to their being transported thither pursuant 
to the said Act. And for so doing this shah 1 be your warrant. 
Given the 8th day of August at his Majesty's Castle of Dublin. 
To the Mayor and sheriffs of the Citty of Corke. 

The bishop was not transported and the reasons do not appear 
but a few months later he succeeded in getting a statement of his 
case into the hands of the ambassador of the Emperor in London. 

Most Excellent, 

John Bapista Sleyne Bishop of Cork and Cloyne eighty yeares 
old and laden with infirmityes and weaknesse having bin five 
yeares kept in close Prison, viz. from theyeare 1698, most humbly 
shews that lately at a generall sessions held for the Queen in 
the Citty of Corke the Petitioner was convicted before the 
Judges because he had not departed this kingdom with other 
dignitaryes and Regulars of the Church of Rome then perpetually 
banished this kingdom under the penalty of perpetuall Imprison- 
ment or during life. Now by the order of the said Judges it 
is decreed that after soe long imprisonment and hardships your 
Petitioner shall be banished for ever (to some Islands which he 
knows not) in this vigorous winter season and in the time of warr. 
Your afflicted Petitioner believes that it is beside the intention 
and knowledge of her Majestie that such severity is putt in 
execution and hopes she will mercifully spere his old-age and 
gray hairs filled with infirmity and misery. Seeing now nothing 
remains for him but a Grave. If your Excellencie out of your 
tender regard to God's cause and the Church should interpose 
with her Majestie in this thing and opose this cruel sentence it 
is in the power of her Majestie and her Lieutenant to suffer the 
Petitioner to spend the few dayes he has yet remaining, in his 
native countrey either in or out of Prison and if it should be 
necessary for his liberty he would give security of the ablest 
men not to doe anything to the prejudice of the publicke. Soe 
your afflicted Petitioner lying under difficulty most humbly 
prays, who will never leave of imploring the divine goodnesse 
for the prosperity of your Excellencies soul and body. 


Epus ut supra. 

Dr. Sleyne Bishop Corke Copy of his Memoriall to Count Wratislaw 


and sent over to the Lords Justices by my Lord Rochester. 
Handed in by Mr. Keightley 27 Oct. 1702. 

This petition put the Lord Justices in an embarrassing situation. 
It was their business to see the bishop transported, but yet his 
transportation would have to be explained away to thesatisfaction 
of the ambassador. Accordingly two letters were despatched on 
the same date (9th January, 1703), to the Mayor of Cork. The 
first required of him forthwith to show cause why the Popish 
bishop had not been transported in accordance with the Council's 
instructions to him, 8th August previous. The second was equally 
emphatic in directing him to stay all further proceedings against 
the bishop until the further pleasure of their Excellencies was known. 
One was evidently for use at the English Council, the other could 
be produced by Rochester to humour the ambassador. But no 
further steps were taken in behalf of the bishop. 

Dublin Castle 19 January 1703. 

My Lord We lately promised your Excellency our thoughts 
upon a Memoriall you sent us of Dr. Sleyne the Titular Popish 
Bishop of Corke which you received from Count Wratislaus the 
Emperor's Embassadour and having Informed ourselves of the 
proceedings relating to that Bishop we must acquaint you that 
in August last my Lord Chief Justice Pyne laid before us the 
Inclosed Presentment of the Grand Jury of the Citty of Corke 
by which your Excellency will see the Bishop was presented for 
Exercising Ecclesiastical! Jurisdiction contrary to an Act of 
Parliament and your Excellency may remember when his stay 
was connived at by his late Maiestie it was uppon that condition 
that he should not exercise any such authority which he engadged 
faithfully to observe, but he having broke his promise and the 
Gentlemen of the country complaining of his behaviour and that 
he was not transported according to the Act of Parliament we 
could not forbear signing an order for his transportation to 
Portugall which we accordingly did on the 8 of August and sent 
it to the Mayor of Corke with directions to putt him on board 
the first shipp bound to Portugall and he had notice of it which 
he has signified under his own hand though in his Memoriall 
he asserts he was to be transported to some Islands which he 
knows not ; but our orders were never executed for the reason 
you will alsoe see in the enclosed letter from the present Mayor 
of Corke to Mr. Dawson. We return you the bishop's Memoriall 
again and having thus laid the whole matter before you, shall 
expect your Excellencies further directions concerning him. 
Wee are my Lord Your Excellencies most humble servants, 




Cockpitt Jany the 30 1703. 

My Lords I had the opportunity yesterday to lay before the 
Queen at the Cabinett Council your Lordship's letter of the 
19th Instant relating to the Titular Popish Bishop of Cork and 
have received her Maiestie's Command to send you directions 
that your own order of the 8 of August last for the transporting 
the said Popish Bishop to Portugall be putt in Execution. You 
will therefore take care accordingly and some particular directions 
must be given to the mayor of Corke to be more diligent in the 
observing your orders for that by his own account to Mr. Dawson 
it was taken notice of here his reasons were very slender for not 
having done as he was directed. I am my Lords etc. 

Lords Justices 30 Jany 1703. ROCHESTER. 

The Mayor of Cork, John Whiting, had replied to Dawson 
that the order of 8th August was not carried out as no vessel was 
sailing to Portugal. This difficulty now seems to have vanished. 

Dublin Castle 9 Feby 1703. 

Sir In my letter of the 9 of last month I acquainted you with 
the Lords Justices pleasure that no further prosecution should 
be had against Dr. Sleyne the Titular Bishop of Cork until you 
received their Excellencies further directions therein. And 
their Excellencies having considered again of that matter have 
commanded me to lett you know it is their express pleasure and 
command that you cause the said Popish Bishop 'to be put on 
board the first ship that shall be bound from Corke to Portugall 
and that you agree for his Freight which the Collector of your 
Port will immediately pay the charge of to you or your order. 
Be pleased to give me an account of what you shall do herein 
for their Excellencies further consideration. I am Sir your 
most humble servant J. DAWSON. 

To the Mayor of Corke. 

With the departure of Dr. Sleyne in the beginning of March, 
only two bishops were left in Ireland, both unknown to Govern- 
ment. These were Donnelly of Dromore and Comerford of Cashel. 
Their fate we learn from a letter written from Paris 5th December, 
1708, by Piers, bishop of Waterford to Cardinal Gualterio. "Toute 
Royaume dTrelande est a present sans eveques ; il n'ya que 
deux dont Tun est en prison et 1'autre fort vieux et hors d'etat 
de rendre aucun service." So that the sections of the Act 9, 
William III, c. 26 for the banishment of the bishops were entirely 
successful. They were only partly so in respect of others exercising 
ecclesiastical jurisdiction. We find Richard Maginn, vicar-general 


of Dromore, and John Verdon, vicar-general of Ardmagh, refugees 
in Paris where they were supported by a pension from the pope. 
The following will illustrate the proceedings against some others. 

I certifie that at a Generall session of Assizes and generall Gaol 
Delivery, held at Clonmell in and for the County of Tipperary 
the 14th day of April 1699, Darby 'Mara was indicted, Tryed 
and Convicted, for that he being vicar generall of the Diocese 
of Emly, did not transport himself beyond the seas out of his 
Maiesties Dominions before the 1st day of May, in the 10th 
yeare of his Maiesties Reign, according to the statute in that 
case made and provided, but remained in this kingdom, in 
contempt of the said Statute and contrary to the Form and 
Effect thereof, at Emly, the second day of July in the aforesaid 
year of the Reign of the King. Whereupon it was ordered by 
the Court that the said Darby Mara should be committed in 
custody without Bail or Mainprise until the Government please to 
dispose of him. Signed by order THO. BARNES Dep. Cl. Cor. 

A few months later the vicar-general of a neighbouring diocese 
was convicted and transported. 


Whereas we have received an account of the Right honorable the 
Lord Cheife Justice pyne that Mathew Maloony who has layn 
in Goal at Lymerick about a yeare, was committed pursuant 
to the Act of Parliament for banishing ah 1 persons exercising 
any ecclesiasticall jurisdiction and all Regulars of the Popish 
clergy out of this kingdom, he having contrary thereunto remained 
in this kingdom after the first day of May 1698 and whereas he 
has likewise represented unto us that the said Mathew Malooney 
was in his tryall last lent Assizes convicted as being a popish 
Vicar Generall. We do therefore in pursuance of the power 
granted unto us by the aforesaid Act, will and require you 
forthwith to cause the said Mathew Malooney to be conveyed 
in safe custody from Lymerick to the Citty of Cork and there 
delivered to the Mayor who is required to cause him to be secured 
without baile or mainprise till he shall be transported beyond 
seas out of his Maiesties Dominions as by the said Act is directed 
wherein the said Mayor of Cork is to give his best assistance 
and for so doing, this shall be to you and all others herein con- 
cerned a sufficiant warrant. Given at his Majesty's Castle of 
Dublin the 2nd day of September 1699. 

To the High Sheriff of the County of Lymerick or to the Mayor of 
the City of Lymerick to the Mayor of Cork and all others whom 
it may concern. * By their Excellencyes commands 

H. MAY. 

Doubtless the sheriffs, mayors and others loyally performed 


their duties, but the Catholic sailormen did not account themselves 
amongst those whom it concerned to see to the transportation of 


Council Chamber, Dublin, April 30 1703. 

Whereas we have received information that Morrogh a titular 
Popish Vicar General who was (pursuant to the laws in force 
in this kingdom) put on shipboard in the harbour of Cork in 
order to be transported, and being so on board hath made his 
escape and is now harboured and concealed by evil disposed 
persons, and acts as Vicar Generall since making such escape, 
to the great contempt of her Majestie's authority ; we have 
thought fit to declare that whoever shall discover the said Morrogh 
so as he may be apprehended shall receive the sum of twenty 
pounds for so doing which said sum shall be paid upon his or 
their producing a certificate under the hand of the Judge of 
Assize before whom the said popish Vicar Generall shall be tried 
and convicted and that all persons who shall in any way harbour 
or conceal him shall be proceeded against with the utmost 
severity of the law. And we do require all magistrates and other 
her Majesty's good subjects to use their utmost diligence in 
taking and apprehending the said Morrogh to the end he may be 
punished according to his demerits. 

It remains now to consider how far the Act was successful in 
driving the members of the religious orders out of the country. 
The revenue officers, it will be remembered, returned four hundred 
and ninety-five regulars as known or reputed such, though it is 
probable the actual number was much greater. Of these, four 
hundred and twenty-four were transported in the early months 
of 1698 leaving about seventy who might be identified. An active 
pursuit of those who contemned the law was now begun. Soon 
several were captured. But government was in no haste to trans- 
port them ; the rigours of an Irish prison were a sure deterrent 
to their returning to the country in future. Information however 
was conveyed to Hoffman, the German ambassador in London. 
The result we learn from a despatch of his to the Emperor Leopold, 
21st August, 1698. 

Some days ago the two priests who were in gaol viz. a Capuchine 
and a secular priest were sent off to France, having previously 
entered into recognizances as the law requires. They did so the 
more readily as they were threatened that on refusal they would 
be put on trial as priests and consequently charged with high 
treason. But as they are sent out by one door they can come 


back by another without incurring any other penalty than another 
expulsion. For the government officials are glad to get rid of 
them in this way. These are not at all pleased when over- 
officious informers bring a priest to them as they must put him 
in prison lest the informer should report themselves for not 
carrying out the law. But in such cases the imprisonment is 
not rigorous because the King pays well for their board and 
lodging, and as a rule permission is given them to go outside the 
gaol accompanied by a warder (bb). 

This of course was official palaver, similar to the promises 
made to Count Auersperg that no bishops should be banished. 
But those who know the state of the Irish prisons of the time as 
revealed by the Commons Report a few years later, can judge 
what prolonged confinement in Newgate or the Black Dog meant. 
As for the statement that the government officials were glad to 
get rid of the friars by shipping them out of the country the records 
of the religious orders show that many were kept several years in 
gaol and some ended their lives there. Even the unfrocked friar 
was treated with the same impartiality of rigour as his brethren. 

To their Excellencies the Lords Justices and Generall Governors 
of Ireland. 

The humble petition of John Collman, Carmalett fryar from the 
County of Galway. 

Humbly Sheweth That your Petitioner coming here to the 
Citty to perform his due obedience according to the Act of 
Parliament to be transported out of his Maiesties Dominions and 
before he could got his peticon preferred he was taken prisoner 
and comitted to the Geale in Back Lane where your poor 
Petitioner will undoubted perish unless transported otherwise 

That also your poor Petitioner dare not appeare in Spaine France 
or Italy uppon the Account of father Joseph Power, Provincial! 
of his order which (sic) came from Roome with farren jurisdiction 
from the Pope in order to gether his fryars to a meeting in the 
Citty of Dublin and in severall other parts of this kingdom 
to which meetings your poor Petitioner was called which tould 
them publickly that farran jurisdiction and unlawfull meetings 
was absolutely prohibited by the government uppon which 
Account your poor Petitioner was suspended and severely punished 
by this father Power for telling him that I should acquaint your 
Excellencies of his private meetings, uppon which Account 
and fearing a warrant to be granted against him he made his 
escape to England and from that to France where he wrote 

(66) Der Fall des Hauses Stuart, Klopp B. VIII, 209. 


letters to all convents in the aforesaid kingdom to take up your 
poor Petitioner and to use him with the utmost severity of their 
law as the Bastile and the Inquisition. This petition I can 
make out every word to be true by good Protestant witnesses 
and more of my sufferings uppon the same account which is 
so publickly known to the Roman Catholicks that they would 
see me starve to death before they would relieve me. 
The premisses tenderly considered may it please your Excellencies 
to order your poor Peticoner's enlardgement or to be transported 
into Holland or some Protestant country with some allowance 
to relieve his miserable condition. JOHN COLLMAN. 



John Collman owns himself to be a Carmelite fryer and is in 
Custody at Dublin for not departing this kingdom before the first 
of May last. Wee require you on the first opportunity of shipping 
from this port to cause the said John Collman to be transported 
into Holland and from thence he is not to return into this kingdom 
under the penalty mentioned in the Act. 

The following is a further illustration of the spirit in which 
the Act was enforced. 

To their Excellencies the Lords Justices of Ireland. 

The humble petition of Francis Dillon a poor franciscan fryar 
of Athlone. 

Humbly Sheweth 

That your Petitioner in obedience to an Act of Parliament lately 
passed for banishing all papists exercising any ecclesiastical! 
jurisdiction aud all regulars found in this kingdom, repaired to 
this Citty before the 1st of May last carryed on a Wheel Carr, 
not able to ride on horseback or goe on foot being decrepitt 
for two yeares last past by a dissolution of his hip bone and 
your Petitioner by meanes aforesaid being rendered utterly 
disabled to goe beyond the seas pursuant to the said Act hath 
humbly besought your Excellencies to extend mercy and com- 
passion to your poor Petitioner by relieving him or providing a 
competent maintenance for his support or otherwise to prescribe 
a Method Whereby he might without offence to the Government 
receive the charity of his acquaintance where he formerly lived 
till he were in a condition to depart the kingdom. Which 
being referred to the hon. Justice Coote he sent a Doctor to visit 
your Petitioner who made him his report of your Petitioner's 
condition which report .was made to your Excellencies severall 
times since containing a true state of your poor Petitioner's 
great infirmity and distressed condition going on crutches and 
for the most part bed rid, and hath recommended your Petitioner 
to your Excellencies' relief e. That your poor Petitioner hath 


hitherto patiently expected and hoped for your Excellencies 
favourable answer and order on the petition. And being in 
long attendance [he] hath contracted Debts for his Diet, lodgeing 
and apparell till on nranday the 17th of this Instant October 
some of your Excellencies' messangers came to your Petitioner's 
lodgeing and took him before the Hon. Justice Coote and from 
thence to the Lord Chief Justice Poines where after Examination 
he sent your poor Petitioner to Goale where now he perishes 
for want of all manner of requisites and inasmuch as your poor 
Petitioner hath not concealed himselfe but to the utmost of his 
power hath given due obedience to the Law. May it therefore 
please your Excellencies in your great charity and goodness to 
order the said Debts contracted by your Excellencies' Petitioner 
to be paid, to appoint any reasonable maintenance for your 
Petitioner in this Citty till he be hi condition to goe beyond the 
Seas and to release your Petitioner out of Goale where he cannot 
without eminent danger of his life live long being in the condition 
he is now in. FRANCIS DILLON. 

Dublin Castle 27 October 1698. 

The state physician and state surgeon were ordered to examine 
Father Dillon and they reported "It is our opinion (that the hazard 
of a voyadge in the winter being excepted) notwithstanding of 
that lameness which he complaineth of, he may be transported 
beyond seas without any damage of his life or health." Their 
Excellencies however took the hazard. 


Whereas Francis Dillon a Franciscan fryer hath petitioned us 

and wee having directed Sir Patrick Dunne Knt. 

phisitien attending his Maiesties state here and Charles Thomp- 
son, Esq. Chirurgeon Generall of the Army to visit the said 
Fr. Dillon and report unto us whither he be in such a state of 
health as may admitt him to be transported beyond the seas 
pursuant to the Act of Parliament and the said Sir Patrick 
Dunn and Charles Thompson having made their report. . . . 
Wee require you the first oppertunity to cause the said Francis 
Dillon to be put on board ship bound from hence to some port 
beyond seas out of his Maties Dominions. You are to take 
particular care to see the same effectually done. 

If the sick friar or the knavish one was not exempt from 
transportation neither was the one who had shown friendliness to 

The humble petition of John Dolphin parish priest of Killow- 
demor in the Countie of Gallway. 


Sheweth. That your Petitioner during the late troubles in this 
kingdom lived peaceably and in good repute among his Protestant 
neighbours doeing" them many friendly offices and preserving 
them as much as lay in his power from the injuries and oppres- 
sions they lay under. That your Petitioner being reputed a 
Regular (notwithstanding that he is and was parish priest of 
the aforesaid parish before the late Act against the Regular 
Clergie in this kingdom passed) he is therefore in danger of in- 
curring the peanalties of the said Act. That your Petitioner's 
case hath heretofore bin represented to your Excellencies by 
Sir Thomas Southwell and severall other persons of quality 
and that your Petitioners kindness to the Protestants in those 
times having bin ill represented beyond sea your Petitioner hath 
great reason to fear That if he was transported into any forreigne 
country he would undergo very severe usage there by reason 
thereof and besides that your Petitioner being an infirm man 
ii would greatly endanger his life. The premisses considered 
may it please etc. JOHN DOLPHIN. 

The Lords Justices Winchester and Galway on 7th June, 1698, 
referred the petition to Robert Rochfort and Allan Brodrick, the 
Attorney and Solicitor-General. They reported four days later: 

We do find by the testimony of Sir Thomas Southwell, Robert 
Foulke Esq. and severall other Protestants that were prisoners 
in Galway that your Petitioner behaved himself towards them 

' with great humanity and Christian temper, publickly in the 
Court before the Judge of Assize and elsewhere protesting against 
the Injustice and Barbarity of their treatment and confinement 
and did them all the good offices in his power while prisoners in 
Galway. The Petitioner doth not appear to us to be a Regular 
much less to have exercised any ecclesiastical! jurisdiction. If 
he deport himself as becometh a good subject and never presume 
to take upon himself any popish jurisdiction wee believe he may 
for the future be connived at by his Neighbours. Nevertheless 
if he be prosecuted and presented as a Regular by any person 
knowing him to be such we are of opinion it will not be proper 
for your Excellencies to interpose in favour of any person what- 
soever his desserts may be, or obstruct the execution of so 
necessary a law. 

Though by the end of the year 1698 the great majority of the 
obnoxious ecclesiastics had been driven out of the country, we 
have still abundant evidence of untiring activity on the part of 
the executive. During the four years, 1698-1701, there is a series 
of proclamations minatory and promissor}^ dealing with the subject. 
The Lords Justices and Council on 27th June, 1698, had infor- 


mations that many regulars had passed for seculars, that hence- 
forward all sheriffs were to keep registers of the popish secular 
clergy containing their names, abode, parish, barony, with their 
length of service, and further that every change of abode should 
be recorded. Again on 13th September, 1699, their Lordships 
say that many of the regulars "banished the previous year were 
returning. The statute was recited and the penalties for returning 
set forth in detail while the proclamation concludes with a table 
of rewards for apprehending the offenders. Another proclamation 
28th February, 1701, orders popish secular priests at their peril to 
send to the high sheriffs within twenty days their name, abode, how 
long they had been in the parish where they officiate, and on their 
removal to notify the sheriff whence they had come, and the full 
particulars of their new abode. An abstract of a proclamation 
issued 25th November, 1701, may here be given. 


We having received fresh information from several parts that in 
open defiance of the laws several Papists exercising ecclesiastical 
jurisdiction and regulars of the Popish clergy do remain in 
this kingdom ; and that several other persons are returned, 
which we look upon can be to no other end or purpose but with 
design to seduce his Majesty's good subjects from their allegiance 
and sow sedition. 

And on this occasion we cannot but take notice of the general 
neglect of the several magistrates and ministers of justice in this 
kingdom and the officers of the revenue in the several ports who 
have been wanting in their duty in putting the laws in execution 
by whose neglect chiefly the several offenders are emboldened 
to continue, come or return into this kingdom. We therefore 
strictly charge all the officers of his Majesty's revenue in this 
kingdom in the several ports, creeks and harbours thereof, to 
take an exact account of all passengers coming in any ship, 
vessel or boat and on suspicion to carry or convey such suspected 
person or persons before the next magistrate or justice of the 
peace who is hereby required to deal with him according to 
the known laws, and the said officers are required from time to 
time to certify the clerk of the Council of their proceedings herein. 

And for the better encouragement of such person or persons who 
shall be active in the discovering of such offenders, we hereby 
promise and declare that the sums following shall on application 
to us be immediately and without any charge, fee or reward, 
punctually paid to the person or persons who shall discover 
such offenders ; that is to say : 


For every such titular Popish Arch Bishop or Bishop the sum of 

one hundred pounds. 
For every such pretended Vicar General or Popish Dean or other 

Regular Popish clergy exercising ecclesiastical jurisdiction the 

sum of thirty pounds. 
For every such Jesuit, Friar or Monk, ten pounds (cc). 

Doubtless these rewards put renewed vigour into the Act. 
The sums would be five times their present value, and in those 
evil days there were not wanting men who for the sake of its emolu- 
ments followed the profession of Priest hunting. A report of two 
of these may be seen in the Southwell Papers. 

Arch Bishopps and Bishopps and Lord Abbotts. 
Doctr. Dominicke Lynch Archbishopp of Tuam. 
Doctr. McMahun Lord Abbott of Mellefont. 
Doctr. John Dempsey Bishopp of Kildare. 
Doctr. Madden Bishopp of Ellfinn. 
Doctr. Donnellan, Senior, Bishopp of Clonfart. 
Doctr. Pierse Bishopp of Waterford and Doctr. Sleyen Bishop of 

Corke. _,. _ ,, 

Vicar Genlls 

Doctr. Burke Vicar Generall of Tuam. 

Doctor Donnellan Junior Vicar Generall of 

Doctr. Tully Vicar Generall of Killmedough. 

Doctr. Cruss Vicar Generall of 

Doctr. Rossetor Vicar Generall of Wexfoord. 
Doctr. Plunkett Vicar Gen of Meath. 


ffather Richard mtzsimmons of Wicklow. 
ffather Tuite of Meath. 

ffather John Talbot of 


ffather Molloy Guardian of the ffranciscan fryers in Wexfoord. 
ffather Essmond, ffather Down, ffather Dolphin all ffranciscan 

ffryers, ffr. Augustine Maddin a Dominican, ffr. Wooten, ffr. 

Murphy, ffr. Malikahy, ffr. ffalvey, ffr. ffine, ffr. Tindall, ffr. 

Nary, ffr. Grady supposed by the Romans to be a spye, he 

lately clameing the Reward of 20 li for two priests. 
Doctr. Sleyne Titular Bishopp \ B Bermingham and Ryan 

f~\T I rYflj'A I */ O fc/ 

\J J. V-'WJl JVC J 

Doctr. Cumberfoard pretended parish preist of TherlouS' 
in the Co. of Tipperary. Ar. Bishopp of Cassell, Cum- 
berfoard 's bull was brought from Innocent the twelve by 
one ffather Owen fferress now parish preist in the Diocese 
of Kerry in the County of Kork. 

(cc) The proclamation also has reference to foreign military officers 
returning, for whom rewards varying from 50 for a General to 5 for a 
non-commissioned officer, are offered. 


ffather James Russell has seaven parishes in Dublin and\-p 
is Deane of St. Patrick's jKyan. 

Donagh McCarthy parish priest of Tralee in the Co. of Kerry is 
Deane of Ardfert and took his tryall as soe and since the death 
of Dr. Dayly who dyed in [16]99 in Corke Jayle he makes use of 
the power of Jurisdiction of Aghadar in the Co. of Kerry. 


Owing to the loss of the records of the inferior courts, we have 
no means of ascertaining how far this and similar reports were 
acted on. Occasionally however there were proceedings in the 
higher courts, or cases of doubt were referred to the executive, 
and then we, get glimpses of the working of the Act. The Warrant 
Books of the Lords Justices and Lords Lieutenant contain many 

instances. ,_, 


Whereas an Act of Parliament passed in this kingdom the Ninth 
year of his Majesties Reigne intitled an Act 

And whereas John Kelly a Fryar committed and now remaining 
in prison pursuant of the said Act. We do hereby signify our 
will and pleasure that the said John Kelly be transported to 
Lisbon in Portugall and we hereby direct and require you to 
cause him to be putt on board the ship Happy Entrance of Dublin 
now in this port, bound thither in order to his being transported 
pursuant to the Act aforesaid and we hereby require Thomas 
Montgomery, master of the said ship to receive the said John 
Kelly on Board and to take particular care to land him in Lisbon 
accordingly. For all which this shall be your warrant. Given 
at Dublin Castle the 16th day of October, 1701. FRA. GWIN. 

To the sheriffs of the Citty of Dublin. 


Whereas we have given orders to the Barons of his Majesty's 
Court of Exchequer in this kingdom to remitt and dischardge 
the fine imposed on John Maglyne, a Fryer now in the Gaol of 
Limerick for coming into this kingdom contrary to an Act of 
Parliament passed here, in order to his being transported from 
hence pursuant to the said Act. These are therefore to direct 
and require you to cause the said John Maglyne to be sent in 
custody on. shipboard on the first vessell bound from your port 
to Spaine or Portugall with Directions that he be sett on shore 
at any of those places. And etc. 13 Dec. 1701. 

To the Mayor and Sheriffs of the City of Limerick. 

NARCISSUS [Archbishop of] Dublin, DROGHEDA. 

Whereas by an Act of Parliament passed 

And whereas Edward Chamberlaine a Jesuit committed and now 


remaining in prison pursuant to the said Act. We do hereby 
signify our will and pleasure that the said Edward Chamberlain 
and Anthony Martin shall be transported to Cadez in Spaine 
and we direct and require you to cause him to be putt on board 
the shipp Two Brothers of Dublin bound thither in order to be 
transported and we hereby require Francis Thornton Master of 
the said shipp to receive the said Edward Chamberlain and 
Anthony Martin on board and take particular care to land them 
Cadez accordingly. And etc. 13 March 1702. 
To the Sheriffs of the City of Dublin. 

Whither the master of the ship thought one Jonah enough, 
or whither Chamberlain made his way back again, does not appear 
but nine months later the following is found : 


Whereas by an Act of Parliament passed 

And whereas Edward Chamberlain a Jesuit is now in prison 
pursuant to said Act, We do hereby signify our will and pleasure 
that the said Edward Chamberlain shall be transported to 
Holland and we hereby direct and require you to cause him to 
be put on Board the ship hen of Roterdam bound thither in 
order to his being transported and we herebjr require Clause 
Janson Master of the said ship to receive the said Edward Cham- 
berlain and to cause particular care to land him at Holland. 
And etc. 13 January 1703. 


Whereas we have ordered James O'Doughan and Philip Brady 
Fryars to be brought from the Countyes Donegall and Cavan 
to Dublin to be transported from hence according to the statute 
in that case made and provided. These are to direct and require 
you to receive from the High Sheriffs of the said Countyes or 
either of them the said James O'Doughan and Philip Brady 
and cause them together with another fryar now in your custody 
to be brought up in custody under a good guard and delivered 
to the High Sheriff of the County of Dublin with this our order 
who is hereby required to bring them under a like guard to Dublin 
and deliver them to the sheriff of the said Citty. For all which 
this shall be your warrant. 10 August 1704. 

To the high sheriff of the County of Meath and the high sheriff 
of the County of Dublin. J. DAWSON. 


Whereas by an Act of Parliament passed 

And whereas Thomas Blunt and George Martin two Fryers are 
now in prison pursuant to the said Act, we hereby signify our 
will and pleasure that the said Thomas Blunt and George Martin 
shall be transported to Ostend and we hereby direct and require 


you to cause them to be put on board the ship Hope of Bilboa 
bound thither in order to their being transported and we require 
Mr. Francis De Clark Master of the said ship to receive the 
said fryers and take care to land them in Ostend. And for etc. 
To the sheriffs of the City of Dublin. 22 February 1706. 

Here it may be well to note the machinery for transportation 
provided by the law. 

8 ANN C. 3. S. 325. 

Every popish bishop, vicar general, dean, Jesuit, friar and papist 
exercising ecclesiastical jurisdiction and every popish priest who 
by offending against this or any former act shall be liable to 
transportation shall within three months be transmitted by 
order of the justices of assize or by order of the justices of the 
peace in their general quarter sessions, to the common gaol of 
the next seaport town where they shall remain until transported. 

It shall be lawful for all masters of ships, merchants, and others 
to receive the body of such popish regular or popish priest and 
to transport the said person beyond the seas out of her Majesty's 
dominions of Great Britain and Ireland. 

And if any merchant freighting any ship bound for any port not 
within the kingdom of Great Britain or Ireland shall refuse to 
receive the bodies of such popish regular clergymen or popish 
priest not exceeding five in any one ship when required so to 
do by the chief magistrate or his deputy of such port when 
any such popish person shall remain in gaol, the collectors and 
other officers of her Majesty's customs are required not to dis- 
charge such ship until such merchant or such master of a ship 
shall consent so to do, on pain that such collector so discharging 
shall forfeit to her Majesty thirty pounds. 

The collector of such port is required to pay to the said merchant 
or master of a ship five pounds for the transportation of every 
such person to any part of the West Indies, and three pounds 
for the transportation of every such person to any port in Europe 
not being within her Majesty's dominions. 

The same to be allowed said collector on producing receipt of said 
merchant or master acknowledging receipt of said sum and 
receipt of body of such popish priest. In this receipt shall be 
expressed the name of the person to be transported, the place 
he did last reside, the time he hath remained in gaol, and from 
what county gaol he hath been transmitted to said port. 

If any such popish regular or popish priest shall be found in this 
kingdom out of the custody of the said merchant or master of 
a ship he shall suffer such penalties as are inflicted on a popish 
regular who hath been banished and hath returned. 

And the said merchant or master shall enter into a recognisance 
to her Majesty in the penalty of 50 to transport the said popish 
person beyond the seas. 


Sometimes when the transported friar made his way back 
again and was recaptured, government was placed in a dire ex- 
tremity. For it was not thought expedient to subject him to the 
death penalty which he incurred by statute, and it would be bad 
policy to condone the offence merely by transporting him a second 
time. There was nothing for it but to send him to a place whence 
he was not likely to return. 


Whereas William Armstrong hath given sufficient security to his 
Majesty for the Transportation of Redmond Murphy a Convicted 
Fryer in the gaol of the County of Wexford to some of his 
Majesty's plantations in America. These are to direct you to- 
cause the said Redmond Murphy to be delivered to the said 
William Armstrong. 2 September 1707. 

To Richard Sanders High Sheriff of Wexford. 

Another alternative was to subject the returned friar to 
indefinite imprisonment. Thus Thomas Blunt and George Martin 
were as we have seen transported in 1706. Years after, they 
got back to Ireland again, as would appear, and were recaptured. 

To their Excellencies the Lords Justices. 

The humble petition of Thomas Blunt, George Martin and 
James Dugan, Prisoners in Newgate. 

Humbly sheweth that your petitioners having been convicted 
some years ago of being Regulars have been since detained close 
prisoners whereby they are not only impaired in their health 
but also reduced to the lowest ebb of indigence and want. May 

17 December 1722. 

[Endorsed]. To be transported as soon as there is an opportunity. 

This series may be closed with the following example of official 
clemency : 


Whereas Christopher Hart of the City of Dublin, Baker, hath 
given security before the Clerk of her Majesties Privy Council 
for transporting Bryen Roork a convicted priest in the gaol of 
Newgate on Board the ship St. Phillip of Bilboa, Joseph Depoertes, 
Master, to Bilboa in Spaine we are therefore pleased to extend 
her Maiestie's mercy to him, in suffering him to be transported 
in six months from the date hereof to the said port and there 
set on shore and that he shall not return into this kingdom 
without speciall lycence. We direct the sheriffs of the City of 
Dublin to cause the said Bryen Roork to be sent under a strong 
guard on shipboard. 7 March 1710. 


These and many similar documents scattered through the 
Council books enable one to judge how thoroughly and consistently 
the Act was worked. On 5th October, 1703, the House of Commons 
by way of inquiry made some orders upon the subject. One of 
them ran "Ordered that the Judges do give an account to this 
House what Regulars and persons of the Popish religion exercising 
ecclesiastical jurisdiction have at any time been brought before 
them, together with their proceedings thereupon." Returns in 
accordance with this order were made and are. still extant among 
the Parliamentary records. Three of the chief justices Queen's 
Bench, Common Pleas and Exchequer, and two of the puisne 
judges sent in reports, and these as abounding in curious details 
may be here given in extenso. 

In obedience to the order of the honourable House of Commons 
bearing date the 5th instant I have caused Mr. Tisdall, Deputy 
Clerke of the Crowne to make diligent search into the records 
of the Court of Queene's Bench in order to lay before the honour- 
able House the proceedings against the Popish Regular clergy, 
from whom I received the annexed certificate. 

And having perused my Circuit Bookes I find that att the Assizes 
held att Wexford the 24th of Aprill in the 13th year of his late 
Maiestie Anthony Molloy and Redmond Murphy were convicted 
as ffryers and received Judgment to be transported according 
to the statute. 

That att the Assizes held the 7th of March in the 14th year of his 
late Maiestie they were left on the Callendar in Gaol till trans- 
ported. That at the same Assizes John Mathews and Thomas 
Johnson being committed as being ffryers and returning into 
this kingdom contrary to the statute, and there not being 
full evidence against them they were transmitted to the 

That att the Assizes held the 12th day of August in the 13th year 
of his late Maiestie in the countie of the Citty of Cork Peter 
Morrogh accused as a Popish Viccar Generall was bound by 
Recognisance to appeare but did not and Execution not entered 
on the Bayle. 

That at the Assizes held at Lymerick the 8th day of August in the 
13th yeare of his late Maiestie Daniell Curie being committed 
for being a priest and returning into this kingdom contrary to 
the late statute there not being sufficient evidence against 
him was to remaine in Custody unless he found good security 
to appeare at the next Assizes. 

Which are all the proceedings I find against any of the Popish 
Regular clergy since the last statute. 


That on the conviction of any popish Regular clergyman 
immediately I gave notice to the government thereof in order to 
his transportation. 

That the Grand Jury of the County of the Citty of Cork att their 
summer Assizes 1700 and alsoe at their summer Assizes 1702 
to the best of my remembrance addressed the government by 
way of presentment that Dr. Sleyne Titular Popish Bishop 
might be transported (who for some time remained there in 
prison on pretence of sickness great inability and weakness to 
undergoe a voyadge att sea, which was the reason of the in- 
dulgence of the Government to him) but since I am well assured 
that he has been transported beyond seas. All which I humbly 
certify to this honourable house this 25th day of October 1703. 


Search being made among the Pleas of the Crowne in her Maiestie's 
Court of Chief Place Ireland I find that John Keatinge was in 
Michaelmas Terme 1699 convicted of being a ffryer and that in 
Hillary Terme 1700 John Kelly alias Purcell was likewise con- 
victed of being a ffryer and that in Michaelmas Terme 1701 
Edward Chamberlain was likewise convicted of being a Jesuit 
and that in Easter Terme 1702 Dominick alias Constantine 
Egan was likewise convicted of being a ffryer all which persons 
were committed to the Gaole of Newgate there to remaine without 
Bayle or Mainprise until they should be transported. And by 
looking over the Callendar of the last Term I find that said 
Chamberlain and Egan are still continued in Gaole and the 
Gaoler informs me that the said Purcell has been transported 
and that the said Egan [?] died in Gaole. All which I certify 
this 12th October, 1703. I further certify that I doe not find any 
other or further proceedings against the said persons or any other 
regulars in the said Court. RICHARD TISDALL, Dep. Cler. 

The report of the Chief Baron of the Exchequer runs : 

An Account of such Regulars and Popish persons as have been 
brought before me in the severall circuits under written which 
I humbly certifie to the honoble the House of Commons in 
obedience to their order of the 5 of October 1703. 
,-. x ^ x /Presented to be titular Arch- 

Co. of Downe } dea con of the Diocese of Dro- 

TQQ SS1Z6S more. Tried for the same and 

1698 ) (acquitted. 

/Indicted last Assizes for con- 
tinuing in the kingdom being 
Titular Dean of Ardagh and 
thereof acquitted. Discharged 
by proclamation. 

Co. of Longford ^ 

T ^T4- Accioroc > 

Lent Assizes r Patrick ffarrall 



Co. of Gallway 

/Bount over from last 
1 Quarter Sessions to appeare 

Lent Assizes > Ambrose Madden and answer, being charged 
1699 J j for exercising ecclesiastical 

and foreign jurisdiction. 
V Security ad prox. 

Andrew Mathews /'Presented for being a 
(commonly called ] Regular priest. Tryed 
J Abbot of Mellefont) (and Acquitted. 

Redmond Murphy 

The Same Assizes . Gregory Downes 

ln Gaole ' 

Co. of Kerry 
Lent Assizes 

Edmund Carthy 
Popish Priest 

Daniel ffalvey 


County of Lowth') 
Lent Assizes 


Co. of Wexford > 
Summer Assizes 
1702 J 

r For Lycenceing one 
Michael Downes being a 
Papist to administer the 
Rites of the church of 
. Roome-Security. 
Committed by Barry Denny Esq 
and Ed. Herbert. Noe In- 
dictment or prosecution. Dis- 
charged by proclamation. 
Committed by the Rt. Hon. the 
Lord Baron of Kerry and 
Lixnaw for being a Regular 
Popish Priest Continued. 
I doe alsoe further Certifie the said honoble house that I doe not 
remember or believe that any application was made to me by the 
Grand juryes of any of the said Counties or otherwise Relating to 
the said Popish Regulars or others Exercising Ecclesiasticall Juris- 
diction. Dated this 27 day of October 1703. ROBT. DOYNE. 
[Endorsed] An account of the Regulars from the Lord Chief Baron. 
Received from Mr. Miler 28 October 1703. 

In obedience to the Order of the Honourable House of Commons 
made the 5 day of October 1703 I have examined the Assize 
Books of the severall Circuits I have gone since the making of 
the late Statute in this kingdom against Papists exercising 
Ecclesiasticall Jurisdiction and Regulars of the Popish Clergy 
and doe find : 

That at the Assizes held in the County of the Citty of Corke the 
13th day of August in the 13th year of his late Maiestie, Peter 
Murrogh accused as a popish vicar generall was bound by re- 
cognizance to appeare at the said Assizes but did not and Exactus 
now was entered thereupon which are all the proceedings against 
any of them. 

Nor do I find or remember that any regulars or persons of the 
Popish Religion exercising Ecclesiasticall Jurisdiction hath at 
any time been brought before me Nor hath ther bin any applica- 


tion made to me at any of the said Assizes by the Grand Juryes 
or otherwise relating to the said Regulars or others exercising 
Ecclesiasticall Jurisdiction other than as aforesaid All which I 
humbly certifye to the .Honourable House this 28 day of October 

1703. N. DONNELLAN. 

In obedience to the two severall Orders of the Hon. House of 
Commons bearing date the fifth day of this present October 
1703 I doe humbly lay before this Honourable House an Account 
of what Regulars and Popish persons of the Popish Religion 
exercising Ecclesiasticall Jurisdiction have at any time been 
brought before me together with my proceedings thereupon. 

As likewise an account of what applications have been made to 

me by Grand Jurys or otherwise relating to Popish Regulars and 
others exercising Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction with my proceedings 

Connaught Circuit 6 Martii 1702. 
Com. Sligoe ^ Patrick O'Connor stood Indicted the 

in the Book of Assizes > Lent Assizes before for not departing out 
No. 1 J of this kingdom before the first day of 

May 1698. He being a Dominican fryer. Ordered that he be 
continued in Gaol without Bail until he be transported pursuant 
to the said Act. The Grand Jury for the said County at the 
said Assizes did present that the Judges of Assize would lay 
this matter before the Government in order to have the said 
Patrick O'Connor transported, which was ordered by the Court. 
To which said presentment and the Order thereupon in the 
custody of the Clerk of the Crown for the said County (as I 
suppose) for my more certainty therein I humbly crave leave to 
Reffer my self. 

Com. Ville de Gallwey \ Danil McDonnell was found guilty the 

apud Assias ibm tent I Lent Assizes before of coming into this 

10 Martii 1702 1- kingdom contrary to the late Act of 

In the Book of Assizes Parliament prohibiting the same, he 
No. 5 ' being a Dominican Fryer. Under Judg- 

ment to remaine in Gaole a Twelvemonth and to be transported 

F by order of the Government. 

The Grand Jury for the said County of the said Town of Galway 
did at the said Assizes present that the Judges of Assize would 
when the time of his imprisonment was expired lay the case 
before the Government and Councill according to the late Act 
of Parliament which was ordered by the Court. To which said 
presentment and order now remaining in the custody of the 
Clerk of the Crown for the said Town and County (as I suppose) 
for the more certainty therein I humbly crave leave to Referr 
my self. 

Com. Vill de "j Gregory French bound from the last Assizes to 
Galwey r appeare and answer this Assizes etc. Indicted 

Same Book No. 4) for that he being a Dominican Fryer in 


pursuance of a late Act of Parliament was transported out of 
his Maiestie's Dominions into Parts beyond the seas and that He 
19 July Anno 13 nuper Regis Did Voluntarily and Traitorously 
return contrary to the said Act of Parliament. In the margin 
of which Book I find an entry of my own hand writing in these 
words Continued on the like Rule as formerly to the next 

Same Book) Patrick Hubbane alias McDonnell bound over by 
No. 6 j the Maior of Galwey being committed last Lent 
Assizes untill he should find suretyes de bona gestura etc. being 
acquitted of the foregoing offence by the said Book. I find he 
was continued in Prison on the like Rule. 

Upon my return out of the Connaught Circuit to Dublin I attended 
the Lords Justices then in Town at the Castle and then acquainted 
them that the severall Grand Juryes of Sligo and the County 
of the Town of Galwey had presented that the Judges of Assize 
should apply to their Excellencies that care might be taken for 
the transportation of the said Daniel McDonnell and Patrick 
Connor. Their Excellencies were pleased to answer that they 
had endeavoured to get Transportation for convicted Regulars 
but that the Masters of Ships to whom application had been 
made showd an adversness to take them on Board but assured 
me That all due care should be taken for their Transportation 
or used words to the like effect. I being satisfied with this answer 
and assurance of the Lords Justices I did conceive any further 
application in this matter was unnecessary. 

Munster Circuit. 
Com. Civit. Corke \ At the Assizes held for the County of 

Book of Assize No. 5 / the Citty of Corke Thursday the 15th 
day of July last past In the Book of Assizes for the County of 
the said Citty is entered Peter Murrogh committed by the Maior 
of Corke for making his escape out of a ship wherein he was to 
have been transported to Portugal being pretended Popish vicar 
generall of Corke. In the margin of which book I find him 
entered for Transportation. 

Com. Corke \ At an Assizes held for the County of 

Book of Assizes No. 7 / Cork the 15th day of July last past in 
the Book of Assizes for the said County is entered Richard 
Hammet bound over in Court the Lent Assizes before for exer- 
cising foreign jurisdiction in excommunicating Richard Gough 
Priest of the parish of Youghal from the see of Rome and all 
other persons of the same religion which should have any comerce 
with Hereticks ; to which Indictment he pleaded, was tryed and 
acquitted. Ordered to find suretys for his good behaviour. 

Same Book 1 Daniel Felix transmitted from Ennis to Corke by 
No. 107 I Thomas Ponsonby Esq. High Sheriff of the County 
of Kerry ; entered on the margin of said Book to be transported 
as a priest. 


Same Book \ Daniel Goffe comitted in Court for coming out of 
No. 120 / France. 

I do not remember any particular application to have been made 
to me by any Grand Jury in the Circuit by presentment or other- 
wise concerning any application to be made by me for the 
Transportation of any convicted Popish Regular. Neither do 
I remember that any Regulars or other persons of the Popish 
Religion exercising Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction have at any time 
been brought before me other than are herein before mentioned. 

Upon my return out of this Circuit I attended his Grace the present 
Lord Lieutenant at the Castle in Dublin and there I did acquaint 
his Grace That there were severall convicted popish regulars in 
the Gaoles in Munster and that care ought to be taken for their 
Transportation according to the Act of Parliament. His Grace 
was pleased to answer that he would consider of some way for 
the better Execution of that Law. ANT. UPTON. 

October the 19 1703. 

[Endorsed] Mr. Justice Upton's Return concerning Preists. Given 
into the office by Mr. J. Upton 25 October 1703. 

The remaining report deals with the same persons as the 
previous with a few additions. 

Mr. Justice Macartney's Return about the Priests and Regular 
Clergy. In obedience to two orders conceived by the Honble 
House of Commons on Tuesday the 5th October 1703, the one 
requiring the Judges to give an account what Regulars and 
persons of the Popish Religion exercising Ecclesiastical Juris- 
diction have att any time been brought before them together 
with their proceedings thereupon. 

The other requiring the Judges to give an account what appli- 
cations have been made to them by Grand Juries or otherwise 
relateing to Popish Regulars and others exercising ecclesiastical 
jurisdiction together with their proceedings thereupon. 

I humbly certifye that Gregory French was indicted att the Summer 
Assizes held for the County of the Town of Gal way the 13th 
year of the late King for that he being a Dominican Fryer in 
pursuance of the late Act of Parliament made in this kingdom 
against the regular clergy was transported out of his late Majesty 
Dominions into parts beyond the seas and that he the 19th July 
the 13th year of the late King did voluntarily and traitorously 
returne to this kingdome contrary to the said Act. 

The triall was then put off by the King's Council on an affidavit 
that Mr. Simcocks, a material witnesse for the King, was in 
England. He was ordered to lye in Gaole untill the next Assizes 
sans Bayle etc. 

At the next Lent Assizes following the said Gregory French's 
Tryall for the said Treason was again put off for want of a 


sufficient power by the Act to try him and then he was bailed 
out upon very good security. He hath been continued under 
baile from time to time ever since and is now out upon good 
baile. The said Gregory French at the said Lent Assizes was 
also indicted for that he being a Dominican Fryer and in France, 
contemptuously came into this kingdom contrary to the said 
Act of Parliament prohibiting the same, he was then tried before 
me and acquitted. 

Daniel McDonnell was att the said Lent Assizes also indicted for 
that he being a Dominican Fryer, also contemptuously returned 
into this kingdom contrary to the said Act of Parliament pro- 
hibiting the same. He was found guilty and ordered to lye in 
Gaole twelve months and afterwards untill he should be trans- 
ported by order of the Government. 

Patrick Hubbane alias MacDonnell was likewise at the said Assizes 
indicted for the like offence. He was acquitted but continued 
under a rule of good behaviour untill the last Summer Assizes 
and was then discharged by Proclamation. 

Patrick Connor a Dominican Fryer att the last Lent Assizes held 
att Sligoe for the Countey of Sligo was indicted for that he was 
and is a Dominican Fryer and did not depart out of this kingdom 
before the 1st of May 1698 according to the said Act of Parlia- 
ment ; he submitted to the Indictment and was ordered to 
remain in Gaole without Baile and untill transported by Order 
of the Government. 

Att the Lent Assizes held att Trim 1702-3 for the County of Meath 
Thomas Blunt a Franciscan Fryer was in prison under a rule 
to remaine in Gaol without Baile untill transported by order of 
the Government for being a Fryer and remaining in this kingdom 
contrary to the said Act. He was continued under the same 

Marks Plunkett a priest was indicted at the same Assizes for 
extolling the Pope's jurisdiction, the Prosecutor for the Queen 
not being ready to prosecute he was bailed out till the next 

Att the Assizes for the Countey of Cavan I found Phillip Brady 
Franciscan Fryer under a rule of transportation and continued 
him under that rule. 

There were no applications made to me by any Grand Juries 
relateing to Papists but some gentlemen of the Countey of Sligo 
desired me to move the Government to have the said Patrick 
Connor transported, and some of the said Daniel McDonnell's 
friends att Galway desired me to speake to the Government 
that he might not be transported because he was very sickly 
and I did att my returne from the Circuit acquaint the Govern- 
ment therewith accordingly. 

All which is humbly certified to this Honoble House the 18th day 
of October 1703. By JAMES MACARTNEY. 



Parliament in an anti-popish frenzy ordered these returns. 
But there was slight cause to question the judges. These gentle- 
men were only too eager -to clothe themselves in the panoply of 
Protestantism for reasons of their own. "Judicial guilt" writes 
the official historian "at the close of Anne's reign was merely not 
uncommon but general. Though Irish commerce was restricted, 
its judges made a lucrative traffic to the Crown, and by parity of 
reason, to private parties, of the property, liberty and lives of 
fellow subjects. Nor had these hardened criminals any excuse to 
offer but merely pleaded great zeal against the Pope and Pretender 
though nothing was more likely to introduce these foreigners than 
the cruelty and corruption of Protestant judges." ((dd) 

(dd) History of the King's Inns, Duhigg, p. 267. 



OF the recent writers who have treated this period of Irish 
history the one who deserves to be best studied is Froude. 
Others have approached it in a critical temper or a hostile 
spirit, he with entire sympathy. The penal code was in his judg- 
ment, a piece of monumental statesmanship, admirable in con- 
ception, exquisitely adapted to the needs of the country and only 
a failure by the accident that it was not enforced long and con- 
sistently enough. Sharing to the full the views of Queen Anne's 
Irish legislators, he has best appreciated the forces behind the 
penal laws and the aims of the men who framed them. To us 
indeed, in our plane of thought the attempt to impose Protestant- 
ism on an unwilling nation by a system of proscription and legal 
disabilities, would seem futile as well as criminal. That the penal 
laws were enacted in sincerity and enforced with conviction 
that they were anything more than legislative bogies we find it 
hard to realise. Yet if the outlook of these statesmen be duly 
considered and the circumstances of the time taken into account 
the task to which they set themselves will not seem so extravagant 
nor the means so inadequate. In our day religion and politics 
are regarded as two spheres hardly touching, in fact almost mutually 
exclusive ; nothing can appear to be better denned than the dis- 
tinction between church and state ; the axiom a free church in a 
free state is in practice almost universally acted on. But in the 
reign of Anne the secularist ideal was still unknown ; religion was 
believed to be a matter of vital politics ; people were as convinced 
of the necessity of a state church as of a state police and could 
no more conceive a nation without an established religion than a 
man without a blood circulation. And further if there was one 
principle more than another settled and acknowledged by states- 
men it was that all Catholics were rebels in posse if not actually, 
that loyalty to Rome was alike incompatible with civil allegiance 
and with individual liberty, and that therefore the first duty of 


a Protestant government to the Catholic religion was to uproot it. 

These principles, it is true, were not confessed and consciously 

acted on, especially from the Peace of Westphalia onwards, but 

none the less they influenced and shaped the whole politics of the 

time. Hence it would be a mistake to regard the penal laws as 

,\ the outcome of the passions of the Revolution or simply as retalia- 

\\ tion on account of the persecution of the Huguenots in France. 

\ \From the Reformation down it was merely a question of opportunity. 

V English statesmen had never relinquished the hope of making 

Ireland Protestant and British but during a century and-a-half, 

the project could not be carried out with safety. 

Nor was success less probable than in Elizabethian England 
when Cecil and Walsingham began their work. For on the one 
hand Great Britain had reached the meridian of military power 
so that the disturbing factor of foreign intervention was now 
eliminated. Recently there had been spread over the country a 
net work of barracks for horse and foot, one hundred and two in 
all, to dominate and overawe the population. As a more effective 
garrison the Scotch were pouring into the north in numbers variously 
estimated from ten to twenty thousand a year. To leaven the 
south and west, negociations were entered into for planting the 
dispossessed Protestants of the Rhenish Palatinate. Finally the 
Protestant bishops were busily concerting schemes for converting 
the Celtic-speaking people through their own language. Over 
against these forces was the mere residue of a nation, and of this 
residue the able bodied and enterprising were fleeing in thousands 
yearly to the armies of France, Spain, and the Empire. Deprived 
of leaders, of wealth, of education of every power of resistance, 
no one doubted that in a few years the Irish could be moulded to 
any purpose of the legislature. Such were the conditions under 
which the penal code came into existence. 

Those who regard the code as a counterblast to the Arrets of 
Louis XIV. against the Huguenots have sought in these Arrets 
the exemplars of the Acts of William and Anne. But they have 
hardly considered the family resemblance which all repressive 
legislation bears, and further that the task which confronted the 
Irish legislators was different from the extermination of an active, 


wealthy, irreconcilable minority. Their problem indeed, was 
that which Elizabeth's statesmen had successfully solved a few 
generations earlier a national change of religion against the 
wishes of the overwhelming mass of the people. Hence the model 
and true inspiration of the code is to be found not in the French 
but the English statute book. The procedure in each case was 

As in England the first step was the destruction of the religious^ 
orders, the best educated and best disciplined of the clergy. Next 
the organization of the church was broken up by banishing the 
bishops and others exercising authority. The existing clergy would 
thereby, it was hoped, be reduced to chaos. Finally, the supply of 
future priests was cut off. There was at first no question of making 
a clean sweep of the secular priests, as had been done with the 
regulars. A stronger government, the Cromwellian, had formerly 
taken that course, and the experiment was not encouraging. One 
great and instant difficulty there was. The destruction of the 
Irish schools a century before had resulted in the establishment of 
colleges for them all over the continent. Thither young Irishmen 
in scores were shipped by the aid of hardy fisher-folk or friendly 
merchants. Some years later, trained theologians and accomplished 
men of the world, they made their way back in many disguises. 
As long as this continued, the extirpation of Catholicism in Ireland 
was a hopeless task. Hence an important part of the code w r as 
devoted to foreign education. Again to ensure that there should 
be no successors to the existing clergy, all priests were registered, 
located, and identified. They could not minister outside their 
parishes, nor keep curates, and no priests who were not registered 
for a certain parish, would be permitted to remain in the country. 

This plan of campaign, as will be seen, required time for its 
accomplishment. But meanwhile the nucleus of the army was 
itself in grave peril. From the days of Elizabeth down, all Prot- 
estant colonies had disappeared before that most powerful of 
solvents marriage. If the Williamite settlers, the Palatines, the 
Huguenots of the towns and the Scotch of the North were to take 
Irish wives, it were vain to banish the bishops or intercept the 
priests. Numerous acts therefore were passed forbidding marriage 


between Protestants and Catholics and inflicting the gravest 
penalties on priests who assisted at them. 

Here to afford a connected view of the code the several laws 
may be set down in digest. They divide themselves under four 
heads : (I) those for the banishment of bishops and others exercis- 
ing ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and of regulars ; (II) those for the 
prevention of foreign education and the coming of priests into 
Ireland ; (III) those for registering priests and enforcing the Oath 
of Abjuration, and lastly (IV) laws regarding marriage. 

Having in the last chapter sufficiently considered the law exiling 
ecclesiastics we shall here deal with the laws under the other three 




7 WILL III, C. 4. 

1. In case any of his Majesty's subjects 01 Ireland shall go or 
send any child or other person to be resident or trained up in 
any priory, abbey, nunnery, popish university, college or school 
or house of Jesuits or priests in parts beyond the seas in order 
to be educated in the popish religion in any sort to profess the 
same, or shall send money or other thing towards the main- 
tenance of such person gone or sent, or as a charity for the relief 
of a religious house, every person so going sending or sent shall 
on conviction be disabled to sue in law or equity or to be a 
guardian, executor or administrator, or take a legacy or deed 
of gift, or bear any office, and shall forfeit goods and chattels 
for ever and lands for life. 

2. If any information be given to any Justice of the Peace that 
any such child or other person, money or other thing are gone 
or sent away contrary to this act, such Justice is required to 
have brought before him all such persons suspected or charged 
to have offended and shall examine the persons so suspected 
and any other witnesses concerning the same. If it shall appear 
probable to him that such offence was committed, the suspected 
persons are to be bound with sufficient sureties, and such others 
as he shall judge fit to give evidence are to be bound in the sum 
of 200 upwards to appear at next Quarter Sessions. If at the 
Quarter Sessions it shall appear probable that any person money 
or other thing was sent abroad contrary to the act then the person 
suspected must shew where such person sent then is and also 
to what intent and purpose such money or other thing was sent. 
Failure to show this shall be entered on\record and be a con- 
viction as well of the person sent as of the person sending, and 
they shall incur the penalties aforesaid. 


9. No person of the popish religion shall publickly teach school 
or instruct youth ; or in private houses teach or instruct youth 
except only the children, or others under the guardianship of 
the master or mistress of such private family, upon pain of twenty 
pounds and also being committed to prison for three months 
for every such offence. 

2 ANNE, C. 6. 

1. If any person being a papist shall send or cause or willingly 
suffer to be sent any child under the age of one and twenty 
years (except sailors, ship-boys or the apprentice or factor of 
some merchant) into France or any other parts beyond the 
seas without the special licence of her Majesty or chief governors 
of this kingdom and four or more of her privy council they shall 
incur the penalties mentioned in Act 7 Will III, c. 4 supra. 

2. When any of the judges of her Majesty's courts of Queen's 
Bench Common Pleas or Barons of the Exchequer, or any two 
Justices of the Peace shall have reasonable cause to suspect that 
any such child has been sent into foreign parts they are required 
to convene the father or mother or such other relation, guardian 
or persons as had the care of such child and shall require them 
to produce before them the said child within two months after. 
And if the child is not so produced nor reasonable cause shewn 
for obtaining further time for the same till the next quarter 
sessions, nor good proof given that said child is resident some- 
where in Ireland England or Scotland and not in parts beyond 
the seas, such child shall be deemed to be then educated in foreign 
parts and shall incur all the penalties mentioned in Act 7 Will III 
c. 4. 

In the summer of 1703 the Irish Privy Council prepared the 
bills to be enacted in the coming parliament. Forwarding them to 
Nottingham the English Secretary, their Lordships write 16th June : 

The Act of last session extended only to dignitaries and regulars 
but it being found by experience that secular priests educated 
beyond sea among her Majesty's enemies did imbibe their senti- 
ments and at their return did become incendaries to rebellion, 
it was considered necessary to prohibit their return and the 
new Act is in fact but to reinforce a good law already in being 
against foreign education. 

Accordingly the following sweeping measure became law : 

2 ANNE, C. 3. 

1. Every clergyman of the popish religion that shall come into 
this kingdom at any time after the first of January 1704 shall 
be liable to such penalties, forfeitures and punishments as by 
the Act 9 Will III, c. 26, is imposed on popish bishops etc. or 
any other papists exercising ecclesiastical jurisdiction who shall 


come into this kingdom contrary to the said Act, [that is to say 
imprisonment and transportation for the first offence, death for 
the second.] 

2. Any person who shall knowingly harbour, relieve, conceal 
or entertain any such clergyman of the popish religion shall be 
liable to such penalties and forfeitures as by the said Act is 
imposed on the harbourers and concealers of any popish bishop 
etc. or regular popish clergyman, to be levied in the same manner 
as by the said Act is directed. 

All justices of the peace, sheriffs, high and petty constables and 
all other subjects are required to use their utmost diligence in 
apprehending all such regular or other popish priest who shall 
come into this kingdom contrary to this Act. 

3. If any mayor, justice of the peace or other officer shall neglect 
doing their duty in execution of this Act every such justice and 
other officer shall for every such neglect forfeit one hundred 
pounds, one moiety to the King, the other to the informer or 
person that shall sue for the same, and be disabled from serving 
as a justice of the peace during his life. 

4. All persons who shall return or come into this kingdom contrary 
to the Act 9 Will III, c. 26, or shall come into this kingdom 
contrary to this Act may be indicted and tried for the same in 
such county wherein they shall be taken or in any county where 
her Majesty by commission under the great seal of this kingdom 
shall appoint. 

It may be well to illustrate the working of these Acts by a 
few cases, reserving to future chapters a fuller study of their opera- 
tion in the several parts of the country. 

Pursuant to an Order from the Government and to a Resolution 
taken by the Justices of the Peace of the County of Tipperary 
at a Meeting held in Cashell the 18th of June last. We the under 
named Richard Lockwood Esq. Mayor of Cashell and John 
Hickey Clk. two of her Majesties and the Lord of Regalities 
Justices of the Peace for the said County do hereby certify that 
wee called together the Popish inhabitants and others living 
within the Citty and suburbs of Cashell and the parish of the 
Rock thereunto adjoyning and uppon the strictest enquiry we 
could make, do not find that any one are gone out of the kingdom 
for a year past except one Trihy, an apprentice boy who went 
into France to his father in October last. [Given] Under our 
hands this tenth day of July 1714. RICHARD LOCKWOOD. 


In other districts her Majesty's justices were more successful 
in~discovering students sent out of the country to be educated. 
The Grand Jury of the County Galway at the Spring Assizes, 1715, 
presented : 


The names of such persons as have transgressed the Act against 

forreign Educacon. 
Ulick Burke son to John Earle of Clanrickard went out of the 

kingdom to ffrance in or about November 1713 in companie 

with one Carbery Kelly a popish cleargieman and Regular 

priest from the parish of Ballinekill in the half barony of Bellamoe 

at which time John Burke son to Sir John Burke Baronet went 

to ffrance in companie of the said Carbery Kelly and not since 

returned to this kingdom. 
Edward Burke an other son of the said Earle of Clanrickard is 

out of this kingdom and missing and we heare he is in ffrance 

or Lorraine. 
Walter Burke son to Edmund Burke of Milick is out of this kingdom 

and missing and is in ffrance or Spaine as we are informed. 
Myles Killkelly son to Garrett Kilkelly late of Rahin about two 

yeares agoe went out of this kingdom and is missing and we 

believe he is in ffrance or Spaine. 
James Burke son to Ullick Burke of Ower went out of this kingdom 

about a yeare agoe and is missing 'and we are informed he is in 

Richard Burke son to Walter Burke late of Killcoo went out of 

this kingdom and is missing and is a Captain in ffrance as we 

are informed. 
Luke Ryan son to Dr. James Ryan of Abbyland went out of this 

kingdom last yeare and was for some time missing. We find 

he went to ffrance from whence he hath returned several! times 

into this kingdom, that his business was to list men for the 

pretender as we are informed. 
Hyacinth Nugent son to Thomas Nugent comonly called Lord 

Reveston [Riverstown] is gone out of this kingdom and is missing, 

and as we are informed is in ffrance. 
Redmund Burke son to Ullick Burke of Killcoman went lately 

out of this kingdom and is missing and as we are informed is 

in ffrance. 
Edmund Kelly son to William Kelly of Ballinlassy is out of this 

kingdom and is missing. 
Luke Burke son to Richard Burke of Erickbrack alias Gortemadden 

is out of this kingdom and is missing and in ffrance as we are 

Ullick Lynch son to Patrick Lynch of Bellwell has been out of this 

kingdom for two or three yeares and we find that he is in ffrance. 

Besides inquisitions held under the Act there was another 
method for gaining information about young men sent over sea 
to be educated. This was intercepted correspondence. Some- 
times the letters were taken in the post ; more often they were 
found on some person arrested as suspect on landing. A consider- 


able number are still to be seen in the Irish Record Office among 
the "Country Letters" and elsewhere. Lecky who had seen some, 
describes them as "full of affection for those who were left at home 
and of a most touching and beautiful piety." A few examples 

may be given. _. . . , , T c .- 01 

J b Pans Augt. 8 N.S. 1731. 

Rev. Dr. Sir. Presuming you would be glad to hear from us I 
take the liberty to salute you and the rest of your dear family 
with my best respects and also to give an account of our pro- 
ceeding since we parted your good house. After we sent home 
Paddj? Hindes we were detained 3 weeks and 3 days in Corke 
expecting every day to take shipping. I was at some consider- 
able cost upon Poor Billy's account being invited several days 

, but could not part him. I said Mass for Mr. Gallway [of Fota 
Castle] uncle to Coll. Butler twice, and every other day for the 
fryars who gave me a dinner and the last week also to Bro. 
Dilleny. Mr. French did not once call him to his house all the 
time. After we were aboard though every day sick we had a 
good passage and landed at Haver the eight day. We came 
from thence to Carbecque upon a Saturday and were accom- 
panyed by two Dominican ffryars. We met a ffrench Abbay 
who directed us to a Cabray, [Cabaret] he was pleased to say 
that he liked my latin so well that he treated the Company with 
some wine and paid my Clubb and the next day invited Brother 
Billy and me to his house and gave the favour of extraordinary 
good company and a sumptuous dinner. We came from thence 
to Rouan and lodged the night with the Cordaliers among which 
was an Irish ffryar lately come from Prague. I changed dresses 
with him and gott the boat from thence to St. Jarmans free and 
was mighty well regaled by some Ladys and Gents that were in 
the Company but poor bill was at great cost being in his Secular 
Cloathes. We lodged one night at the Recolets at St. Jarmans 
and the next day I was obliged to goe by Coach to Paris, because 
the sandalls sorely cutt my feet, and the Company paid my cost. 
In Paris we lodged with the Recolets at St. Laurences and Mr. 
Duffy agreed with the Guardian for Brother Dilleny's habit. 
He was short of money for seven pieces. I have only 17 lievres. 
I made him my purse bearer at Rouan and he was obliged to 
lay out my money on the road expecting an advance in his own 
at Paris. Mr. Duffy was the best friend we had at Paris and 
used us with unexpressable Civility. I gave Mary Madden 's 
letter to Mr. Merick, he promised to send her something. We 
are to leave the City to-day, I doe begin my Journey for Bullea, 
we expect directions from thence to Prague. Br. Dillenny got 
his habit for 30 Masses and begg you will get them said. I 
begg the favour of you to write to Prague to give an account 
of your dear family and how my Dear Father John finds himself 


in health. Pray make my best respects agreeable to Mr. McHugo, 
fa. John, both the brothers Bryan and the rest of your family 
and believe me to be most cordially etc. THO. BROODER. 

Br. Dillany joins saluting you all. 

I begg you give my service to the family at Derrihoran, ffahy, 
Lismore and Captain Darcy. I seen Cosn Frank here and gives 
me an account of Mr. Silvester, he hopes he will doe well. 

[Endorsed] To Mr. James Madden at Milick near Eyrecourt in the 
Co. of Gallway Ireland per London. 

Dear Laurence Last post I was agreeably surprised by some 
lines from you in Mr. Rourke's letter, a favour I had so long 
before expected. If you have written before to our College it 
was certainly an error I had forgot to apprise you of as it is 
probable maney letters to me were intercepted. You will for 
the future be more cautious and follow the directions in Mr. 
Rourke's letter. I wish earnestly to know the state of your 
affairs and also if Mrs. McKenna be well from whom I have so 
long in vain expected to hear, and to whom you will present my 
best respects. If she remember me, Irish news or even Spanish will 
be agreeable. Salamanca October 1751. WILLIAM NUGENT. 

A Don Ricard Butler Grd Ds. Ms. Ap para entryar a Don Lorenzo 
McKenna. Madrid. 

In the following we have a reference to the awful earthquake 
of 1756 in which the Irish College of Lisbon was destroyed. 

I believe you heard from Mrs. Burke her son is arrived safe from 
India. The Rector doesn't mark what progress he made. Master 
Kelly issued Divine [i.e. graduated in Theology] of Cassanate. 
They'll want him at Lisbon if the College can be rebuilt, I am 
told Mr. Bradley is gone there from Louvain. Perhaps he may 
invent some scheme to help them. They intend to make a 
generall collection in Spain. God send it will turn so beneficial 
as they propose. We have repaired this old house last summer, 
now it's stronger and more decent than ever, it cost us a hundred 
dollers which is advanced in the rent, now we have it free for 
foure yeares to come. We are all well. DOMINICK O'CONNOR. 

To Patrick Kennedy at Clarinbridge, Gallway. 

Among these letters perhaps the one that will be read with most 
interest is that written by Father Nicholas Sheehy, who ten years 
later was hanged at Clonmel the victim of politico-religious hatred. 

Dear Paul Though it was yours to write first and give us an 
account of your journey, I was before hand with you having 
wrote to you the first Saturday after your departure which 
Paddy inclosed to his father who I suppose delivered it to you 
[who were] unkind enough neer to acknowlidge it. Your silence 


in these circumstances would be sufficient to make me write no 
more if not for the great regard I have for you which makes me 
pass by all that's past, and beg you will answer to my former. 
This day we received Deaconship from the Bishop of Tue at his 
house and are to be priested next Sunday come seaven night. 
Please to pray we may receive it worthyly and you may be 
sure I will not forget you at the altar but will daily beseach the 
Almighty to give you grace to persevere in your holy under- 
takens to the last with satisfaction and health to undergoe your 
Noviceship. The latter [i.e. health] we wanted here since your 
departure so much that at the same time Mr. Roche, Paddy 
Luis and I have been confined to our beds at the same time. 
Mr. Roche and Luis only had the ague which worked them 
very hard from which they are I hope free. Paddy's disease is 
dubious. Some judge it to be an ague, and others say it is the 
ptisick, he goes off to morrow with his father for Madrid, for the 
physitians ordered him to change climate, the same I believe I 
must do the same which is what I earnestly desire and would 
bring it about before now if I had been priested. For the Doctor 
though he tended me for three weeks he knew not my sicknes, 
varying daily in his sayings and prescriptions so that he pestered 
me with bleeding, purging, phisicking and his glisters, tho' I 
believe they were of no service for I know my disease which I 
conceal from all. The Rector read for me the other day a letter 
he had from a Jesuit in Waterford wherein he had an account 
of great broiles between the Clerimen caused as thus. The 
Bishop stript or deprived the frier of his parish which he 
gave to William Brown; the deposed frier made his address 
to Counsellor Daubins [Dobbyn] a man whom you for his name 
esteem. He promised to secure him his parish and endeavoured 
to do so and was so vigorously opposed that he cited to the 
assizes the adverse parties and had warrants issued out for the 
Bishop [Creagh] Connery [V.G.] and Brown who were forced to 
absent themselves, but would not desist from their undertakens 
against the frier who is equally positive. The Catholics are 
very much concerned for it and severall behave very warm on 
it who have nothing to say to it. Father Fitzgerald was expected 
in Ireland about September by the Jesuites, fr. Thomas Hennessy 
the late Provincial is in a bad state of health as my uncle writes 
to me whose letter I had lately with a Bill of twenty pound 
so that by it I am very well to buy what ever you are pleased I 
should carry home to your friends in your name. My mother 
is in a bad state of health whom I recommend to your prayers 
who I dread will depart this life before I can well leave the college. 
I enchardged Fr. Lisward to tell Fr. St. Leger and severall 
when he gets home of you more than you deserved and 
have under his hand that he will complie if he arrives safe in 
Ireland. What it was I should advise now if I had any hopes 


this would get to you, which in all probability you will never 
see, for tis hard [to believe] this young gentleman would be 
let in to see you by them fathers who refused Mr. Terry admit- 
tance four or five severall times he went to see you. Messrs. 
White and Nugent they join me to salute you and wish both 
[of them] content and satisfaction. Which Dear Paul with all 
sincerity I wish you, hoping you will have me with yours as 
soon as possible and you will oblidge dear Sir. Yours for ever 
to command. SHEEHY. 

St. Patrick's [Salamanca] October the 28, 1756 (ee). 

But the Acts against Foreign Education were only means to 
an end ; it was of far greater moment to secure that those educated 
abroad did not make their way back into the country. Hence 
a sharp look out was kept at all ports by mayors, harbour masters, 
revenue collectors, tide-waiters, all Protestants and active up- 
holders of "our happy constitution in church and state." These 
officials, eager to distinguish themselves, reported to the executive 
government any captures of special importance. Hence we have 
ample particulars of the working of the Act 2 Anne, c. 4. A 
selection of letters from different parts of the country may there- 
fore be given here. 

Youghall 26 June 1713. 

Honoured Sirs, I had an account by Express from the Surveyor 
att Dungarvan last Wednesday that the evening before he sent 
out the Queen's Boat with Officers to board a ship that just 
then came to an anchor in the Poole. The Officers rummadged 
a fishing boat that had been aboard her and found therein a 
stranger with a Trunck and Cloak bagg who tould them his 
name was Cornelius Reynolds of Jamestown in the County of 
Leitrim which place he left in the yeare 1681 and in a few months 
after he was ordained a Priest in Spaine and hath been absent 
from Ireland ever since but now growing old he resolved to spend 
the remainder of his days with two poor sisters who were in 
greate need of some few pence he had gott abroade. By the 
same Express I directed the Surveyor to seize the boat and to 
stay the ship untill your Highness pleasure could be known 
because the Owner and Master had incurred great penalties. 
I also advised him to commit the Priest to the charge of the 
High Constable with directions to carry him before General 
Stuart who yesterday morning by letter desired me to goe to 
Dromana where I took Examinations sufficient with the Priest's 

(ee) That this letter was written by the martyr-priest appears from a 
comparison of the signature, with that on an Affidavit still preserved among 
the Dublin Crown Records at the Record Office. 


own confession to warrant his committment, and I sent him 
away to Waterford Gaol. The General has promised to give 
the Government a more particular account of this proceeding 
by this night's post to which I refer your Honours being unwilling 
to give up copies of so long Examinations. I begg your Honours 
directions about severall Books, papers, Vestments, pieces of 
new silk and calicoe found in the Priest's Trunk. I believe the 
Judges of Assize will require me to deliver them on their order. 
The Books and papers I can't send a particular of what was found 
by this but I shall by the next post, because the Surveyor has 
not yet sent me a schedule thereof. 

Last Wednesday night pursuant to the directions I sent the Sur- 
veyor he went to the Poole with intent to place more Officers 
on board but he was resisted by the Master and crew all in 
arms to the number of 25 men besides boys, and when Captain 
Hubbard who was in the Queen's Boat and is in the Commission 
of the Peace for that County enterposed they fired two shotts 
into the Queen's Boat but hurt no body and soon after weighed 
anchor and went off to the Eastward. 

I examined the Priest yesterday on oath who was the Owner and 
who the Master of that Vessell whether bound and what ladeing 
had aboard but he said he knew noe more of him but that she 
was laden with wine and salt and in the voyadge he heard them 
say they were bound for the West of Ireland. The master of 
the fishing boat swears that he knew one Richard Butler who 
tould him he was Master of that Vessell. When I goe to Dun- 
garvan on Wednesday I shall have a more particular account 
from Mr. Pierce Sherlock who I am informed was some hours on 
board. Honord Sir Your Most Obedient BR. BADHAM. 

Directed to the Commissioners of Revenue. 

Whether Captain Butler was captured or not does not appear. 
As a harbourer of popish clergy he had incurred a penalty of 20, 
and moreover was liable to be kept in prison at the will of the 
local authority. 

The humble Petition of Peter Darcy of Galway to his Excellency 
Lord Rochester. 

Sheweth That your petitioner is a native and merchant of Galway, 
that in his youth he was bred in the West Indies, that he con- 
tinued trading abroade, trading between Spain, France and the 
West Indies till he came last to Paris and thence last October 
to Gallway having his Maiesties Lycence for such his returne. 

That your Petitioner is now taken upp and confined by the Mayor 
of the said town of Gallway and denyes bayleing him alledgeing 
that your Petitioner brought some ffryers upon his shipp from 
France vnto this kingdom. 

That your Petitioner knew nothing of any Act of Parliament 


prohibitting the returne of Roman Catholicke Clergy into this 
kingdom and that it was the Master of the shipp that agreed 
with passengers and was to receive to his owne use the benefit 
of such passengers. P. DARCY. 

[Endorsed] Attorney Generall or Sollicitor. 

If his Excellency was puzzled whether his humble petitioner 

was a harbourer within the meaning of the Act, the following 

from Galway also, was a more difficult poser : 

Galway 30 March 1708 

Sir I have an account that on board a frigate from China now in 
Roundstone bay and expected hither the next fair wind there 
is a ffrench popish Bishop and some other Roman Cleargy men 
I desire to have the Government direction how I shall carry 
myselfe towards him or whether he shall be permitted to land 
for if he does, it is thought he will ordaine some young priests 
here. Yours 

To Secretary Dawson. J. EYRE. 

Eyre seems to have got directions that no quarter was to be 
given, for on the 30th April he acquaints Dawson that he has captured 
the vessel with its crew and passengers. 

Often the authorities were at a loss to know whether the sus- 
picious arrivals were priests or not. Incriminating papers however 
occasionally betrayed them, for testimonies of orders and of religious 
profession had to be kept at all hazards. Many of these taken 
from captured ecclesiastics are still preserved at the Record Office. 

Infrascriptus attestor Fratrem Joannem Macguire post annum 
sui probationis professionem seraphicam solemniter in meis 
manibus in hoc conventu nostro de Gallbally hac die septima 

Furnished with this he made his way to some of the Irish 
Franciscan houses abroad Louvain, Prague, or Rome. Three 
years later he was captured on his return. 

Brother John Maguire an Irish Friar Minor having completed his 
Theology is about to return soon to the mission in his native 
land sorely tried under the galling yoke of heretics (missionem 
suae afflictae Patriae sub diro hereticorum jugo degentis). 
Wherefore he seeks faculties for granting indulgences on the 
point of death, blessing rosaries etc. December 20 1745. 

Again the authorities were sometimes advised beforehand. 
The Duke of Grafton, Lord Lieutenant, on 5th February, 1723, 
acquaints the Lords Justices. 


Lord Townsend sends me information of a vessel bound for Water- 
ford having on board severall suspected persons who are said 
to come from Rome or Spain with a considerable quantity of 
gold and silver. You are to direct the officers on the coast to 
keep a strict watch. 

His Grace had indeed more than once to spur his deputies 
into action. On 12th June previous he enclosed a letter from the 
Customs Collector of Wexford reporting the arrest of a friar there 
coming from Spain adding "It is proper that some endeavour be 
used to apprehend John Begley the pretended Vicar-Generall [of 

In Youghal there had been complaints that arrivals there 
had not been sufficiently scrutinized. After that the practice was 
to hold up any persons whose identity or calling was unknown. 
Thomas Uniacke, Mayor, on 24th April, 1724, petitioned the 
Lords Justices that on the 20th October previous he had seized 
and secured the following persons who came as passengers on the 
ship Margery, of Dublin, bound to Dublin from Rouen, and whom 
he had just reason to suspect were popish priests, viz., William 
Butler, Paul Hally, James Graham, Nicholas Farrelly, Thomas 
Stone, James Smith, Christopher Archbold, and Bryan Hopkins. 
An order came that the trunks, books and papers belonging to 
these persons should be forwarded to Dublin for examination, the 
Master and passengers meanwhile to be kept prisoners in Youghal. 
Since then the Mayor had heard nothing, and he now petitioned 
for a grant of money towards his prisoners maintenance. 

We meet with a similar complaint regarding Galway. 

25 October 1701. 

Sir My Lord Lieutenant having received information that two 
friars lately landed at Galway out of a French ship arrived in 
that port, and that two post days have since passed without 
any account thereof being sent from you, his Excellency has 
commanded me to let you know he is not well pleased with your 
remissness in not advising him with the landing of any person 
at your port contrary to the laws of this kingdom and expects 
you will forthwith send up an account to me if those two 
friars have been seized according to Act of Parliament and 
are in custody and also what else has been done in that matter. 

To the Mayor of Galway. Yours, FRANCIS GWIN. 

But it was along the coast of southern Cork and the fiords 


of West Kerry that most of this illegal traffic was carried on. The 
enterprising smugglers who were running wine and brandy in 
exchange for Irish wool, or the fast cruisers engaged in the export 
of "Wild Geese" to France and Spain cared little for the penalties 
attached to landing priests in Ireland. Hence the collectors and 
other officers had need to be particularly active. 

The Examinacon of Thomas Morgan of Crookhaven, Innkeeper, 
taken before William Hull, Justice of the Peace etc. 9 January 

Sayeth That in September 1708 one Patrick Grady of Crook- 
haven seeing a shipp rideing by went in his boate on boarde of 
the said shipp and there continued for some time but parteing 
from the said shipp brought to [two] eminent men from boarde 
which this Deponent vnderstood was ff ryers or cleargy out of ff ranee 
and landed them on the land of Cuoseene in the parish of Skull, 
that immediately after the said passengers landed one KeanMahon 
of Meenterory came and received the said two persons and carryed 
them with him to the said Mahon his father in laws house Edmund 
Hodnett where he sheltered, harbored and kept them for some 
time until he supplyed the said persons with.meate, drincke, 
washinge and lodgeing, horses and furniture and afterwards 
conveyed said persons to Corke. The aforesaid persons had arms. 

To judge from the fact that arms were carried, the service at 
times involved no little risk. The rewards however were ample. 
Michael Parke writes to Secretary Dawson from Bantry, 15th 
June, 1703: 

I have a long time awaited their Excellencies pleasure in relation 
to the rewarde I payed, in confidence that their Lordshipps 
would againe reemburse me ffor the apprehending McGwire the 
ffryer whom I comitted to Gaole who was thereuppon soone 
after sent backe to France from whence he came, by Alderman 
Rogers of Cork which I think ought not to barr me of the five 

From the neighbouring port of Kinsale were sent reports of 
the capture of wondrous ecclesiastical dignitaries. George Pepper 
writes to Dawson 23rd January, 1704 : 

Yesterday I took up here a Jesuit one of the order of Cordeeliers 
in his habitt whom I understood said some seditious words. 
The ffrench priests taken on board our privateers are suffered 
to go aboute the country and preach everywhere which I feare 
will be of ill consequence. 

But there was a greater coup even than the arrest of a Jesuit 
who was "one of the order of Cordeeliers." In February, 1709, 



their Excellencies the Lords Justices, were gratified with the 
intelligence that a real live bishop (and a Spainard to boot) was 
taken. Orders were at once issued to have him sent to Dublin, 
and on 5th March, Pepper writes that the bishop has already com- 
menced the journey. There was however a hitch ; their 
Excellencies had reason to believe that the authorities at Kinsale 
had discovered a mare's nest. On the 13th March we read : 

Mr. John Anthony Knt. of the order of St. John for whom the 
Government lately sent is here under the denomination of a 
Spainish Bishop. I hope he'll make such discoveries as will 
tend to her Maiesties service. Mr. Chudleigh is informed by 
Mr. Pepper of that town that the said Bishop has aspersed him 
with the taking of five pistolls from him which is as false as 
God is true. If the Bishop has said any such thing of him he 
is very unworthy besides ungrateful to one that used him very 

The affair soon after fizzled out with the discharge of the 

In the harbour of Cork itself priests were captured from 
time to time. Robert HiU writes to Dawson 21st June, 1702 : 

Four Irish priests are brought to Gaol this day havinge left Nantz 
about twenty dayes past and came in the Mary of Galloway 
to Baltimore which was loaden with salt and Indigo and bounde 
for Galloway. 

Rowland Delahoyde, Mayor of Cork 1708-9, had the usual 
share of Huguenot leaven ; he was a magistrate according to the 
Executive's own heart. 


Having received an account from Roland Delahide Esq. Mayor 
of Corke that he has upon information given him seized severall 
Bookes, papers and parchments in the custody of one Christopher 
Martin a Registered Popish Priest containing matters of dangerous 
consequence to her Maiesties person and government and there- 
upon committed the said Martin to the Gaole of Corke which 
Books the said Mr. Delahide transmitted to us. We do hereby 
send you the said Books, papers and parchments and require 
you to peruse and examine the same and Report vnto us the 
substance therein contained and your Opinion what is fitt to be 
done in order to the prosecution of said Martin. 22 Oct. 1708. 

To Thos. Coote Justice of Queen's Bench and the Attorney and 
the Solicitor General. 


Corke 7 Decem. 1708. 

Sir I am advised that Mr. Archdeacon who was concerned in the 
buying and dispersing some of the priests books has petitioned 
Government and set forth that some of his books and papers 
were detained and be very much damadged he haveing severall 
ships in the harbour. None of his books were taken from him 
save his copy book of letters in which nothing very materiall 
was found. But I am of opinion he having notice of the letter 
we found among the priest his papers put him on his guard. 
I have been informed the Council have been informed that 
Martin the priest and Archdeacon have too much favour shown 
them. For answer, on all occasions when any of that sort 
are called in question they never want some Protestant to 
appeare for them, but I do assure you while I have the honour 
of serving this Citty I will never favour any one of them. The 
priest has been confined ever since in the Common Gaole and 
bound over in 1000 to appeare at the Assizes. I pray you 
to believe none is more for the interest of the Protestant religion 
than your most humble servant. ROWLAND DELAHOYDE. 

Corke 30 August 1709. 

Sir I hinted Mr. Attorney Generall last post of suspected persons 
mett with at sea on board a Sloop coming to Corke and belonging 
to one Captain Rickards of this town, who were suspected to 
be priests and on examination I find them to be so, one of them 
owning the same but Comins deneys it, he seeming a very sharp 
fellow and under noe confirmation the onely paper found 
with him mentioning his being a priest was torn in one halfe 
in one pocket and the other in another, and pretends to be a 
brewer. But I take him to be a jolly fat priest that loves a cup 
of good brewer's ale. For Flanagan's part hee's a Taylor by 
trade but owns himself a priest sayeing he learned the taylor's 
trade when young. They own to have gone out of this kingdom 
about sixteen years past and are now returning. I send you 
a Coppy of the Leftenant of the man of warr's Examinacons 
and the five papers of any worth found with him. They have 
many mass books which I will have looked into. I desire you 
let my Lordship know of this and that I may have his commands, 
for till then they shall be continued in gaole where they have 
been since yesterday 12 o'c. Your honour's humble servt. 


The liking for a cup of good ale ought surely have awakened 
a kindly feeling in the Mayor's breast, for in a letter to Dawson, 
24th June, 1719, he writes "I shall drinke to yr good health in 
Bottle good Red." Perhaps it did, but still the search for priests 
arriving in port was long kept up. 


The humble petition of Thomas Price to their Excellencies the 
Lords Justices etc. 

Sheweth That one James Corbally a Reputed priest was taken 
Prisoner by the Ambuscade privateer and brought into the 
harbour of Corke. That by order of the Lord Lieutenant, Lord 
Chesterfield, the said Corbally was brought prisoner to Dublin 
26 December last and committed to your petitioner's custody 
and continued therein from said 26 December 1745 to the 29 
day of July 1746, wherefore he prays etc. for the sum of 101. 

This series may be concluded with abstracts of a few docu- 
ments illustrating the peregrinations made by Irish ecclesiastics 
before an Irish harbour was run. The John Butler of the first 
examination was afterwards the notorious bishop of Cork who 
apostatised in succeeding to the Dunboyne peerage but who made 
amends on his death bed by founding the "Dunboyne Establish- 
ment" at Maynooth College. 

On 30th October, 1758, John Fletcher, master of the Shannon 
of Whitehaven, appeared before John Wennington, Justice of the 
Peace in Whitehaven, and made complaint. That on the 17th of 
October instant being at Bordeaux the Duke of Richelieu, governor 
of Bordeaux, by force put aboard his ship four persons. On his 
arrival at Whitehaven he delivered over the said four persons to 
Peter How, a Justice of the Peace. Their examinations were 
taken as follows : 

John Butler of Grange, Co. Tipperary, Ireland, Gentleman, now of 
the age of twenty seven years. He was born at Grange in the 
parish of Kiltinan. He is a single man and the third son of the 
late Lord Dunboyne of Grange deceased. When of the age of 
nineteen years he was sent to Italy for his improvement. He 
went by way of Cadiz, Genoa and Leghorn to Rome. There he 
remained some years, after which he returned back to Florence 
and thence to Leghorn in hopes to meet a convoy for Ireland. 
But failing in this he went to Marseilles and thence to Bordeaux. 
He is of no business or employment, never took the oath of 
allegiance to the King of France etc. 

Philip Levings of Disert in the County of Louth, Gentleman, Is 
thirty two years old, a single man, the third son of James Levings 
of that place. He was educated in Ireland until his twenty 
first year when he went to Lisbon for his improvement. Thence 
he went to Seville and afterwards to Cadiz in which place he 
remained some years. In 1755 he went thence to Rome where 
he stayed some time to improve in the erudition and see the 
curiosities of that part. From there in August last he proceeded 


to Florence and Leghorn in hopes to return to Ireland. From 
Leghorn he went to Marseilles and thence to Bordeaux where 
he spent five weeks expecting a neutral vessel for Holland or 
Spain in order to go thence to Ireland. He. is of no business or 
employment and never took the oath of allegiance to the King 
of France. 

John Byrne of the City of Dublin of the age of twenty years. He 
was born in James St. in that city. He left Dublin 14 August 
1758 bound for Bordeaux to be an apprentice to Mr. Byrne 
who is a merchant there. He was only two months in France 
and cannot speak a word of French. 

Henry Rice of Dingle in the County of Kerry, Bachelor of Physick. 
He is twenty two years old, a single man and second son unto 
Stephen Rice of Dingle. He studied humanity in Trinity 
College Louvain, and philosophy in Lille. He went thence to 
Montpellier in 1755 to study physick where he remained until 
8 September last when he went to Bordeaux intending for Spain 
or Holland whence he might return in a neutral ship home to 
Ireland. He has never taken an Oath of Allegiance to the 
King of France. 

The foregoing will sufficiently illustrate the difficulties that 
priests after their education and ordination abroad, had in making 
their way into Ireland. But once within the country their troubles 
only increased. They were held in a still closer mesh. For the 
code contained an efficient machinery for discovering and entrap- 
ping ecclesiastics who had come in or had returned in defiance of 
the Acts 7, William III. and 2 Anne. The priests of the year 1704 
were all obliged to furnish to the local authorities full particulars 
whereby they might be identified. And accordingly as they died, 
anyone venturing to officiate in the vacant parishes would at once 
be observed and pounced upon. Finally as the registered priests 
were not dying out fast enough the Act 8, Anne, compelled them to 
take the Oath of Abjuration. On refusal they subjected themselves 
to transportation and the other penalties enacted against regulars 
and others exercising ecclesiastical jurisdiction. The following 
abstracts therefore will explain this portion of our subject : 



2 ANNE, C. 7. 

1. All popish priests now in Ireland shall at the next quarter sessions 
of the peace to be held in the several counties next after 24 June 


1704 return their names and places of abode to the respective 
clerks of the peace in the counties where the said popish priests 
reside, with their age, the parish of which he pretends to be 
popish priest, the "time and place of their first receiving popish 
orders and from whom they received the same and shall then 
enter into recognisance with two sureties each in the sum 
of 50 that such popish priest shall be of peaceable behaviour 
and not remove out of such county into any other part of the 

All popish priests who shall not make such return being convicted 
thereof shall be committed to the common gaol till they be 

2. All popish priests so transported, upon their return into the 
kingdom shall be liable to penalties inflicted on popish regulars. 

All clerks of the peace shall transmit in ten days after the sessions, 
the above described return on pain of 10, to the clerk of the 
council, and the return may be viewed without fee. 

4. No popish priest shall have any popish curate, assistant or 
coadjutor and every popish priest that shall neglect to register 
himself pursuant to this act shall depart out of this kingdom 
before 20th day of July 1704 on pain of being prosecuted as a 
popish regular. 

5. This act shall be given in charge at every general assizes and 
the list of such priests that are registered shall be publickly 
read after the charge given. 

The Registration Act was subsequently improved. 

8 ANNE, C. 3. 

19. No popish parish priest shall have any popish curate, assistant 
or coadjutor and every popish parish priest that shall keep any 
such popish curate, assistant or coadjutor shall lose the benefit 
of having been registered and shall incur all the penalties of a 
popish regular, and every such popish curate, assistant or coad- 
jutor shall be deemed a popish regular. 

26. No popish priest shall officiate or exercise the function of a 
popish priest in any parish but that in which he did officiate 
at the time of registration and for which he was registered 
under the penalties that popish regulars convict are liable unto. 

Under this Act one thousand and eighty-nine priests registered 
themselves, viz. : one hundred and eighty-nine in Ulster, three 
hundred and fifty-two in Leinster, two hundred and eighty-nine 
in Munster, and two hundred and fifty-nine in Connaught (ff). 

(ff) A List of the Names of the Popish Parish Priests throughout the 
several Counties in the kingdom of Ireland together with their Places of 
Abode, Age, etc. Dublin, Printed by Andrew Crook, Printer to the Queen's 
Most Excellent Majesty, on the Blind-Key 1705, sm. fo. 


It will be remembered that the Government returns five years 
earlier found only eight hundred and ninety-two secular priests 
in the country. The discrepancy is explained by the fact that 
many of the regulars remained in spite of the statute 9 William III. 
For want of secular clergy they acted as parish priests and this 
afforded them a serviceable disguise. We meet Jesuits, for instance, 
registered for parishes in Dublin, Meath, Waterford and elsewhere. 
But as a more curious evidence of how the law was evaded, the 
only two bishops in the country, duly registered themselves with 
full particulars. Archbishop Comerford of Cashel, sheltered by 
the Mathews of Annfield, was living at Thurles, then a remote 
village on the edge of the great bog of Monely. He passed as the 
parish priest though his rank must have been known to the whole 

Com. Tipperar. and ) A List of the Names of the Popish Parish 
Croc. Tipperar. J Priests as they were Registerd at the 

General Sessions of the Peace held for the 
said County at Nenagh the Eleventh day of July 1704. 

No. 45. Name Edward Comerford. Place of Abode Thurles, 
Age 60. Parish of which he pretends to be Popish Priest 
Thurles. Time of his receiving Popish Orders 1669. Place 
where he received Orders at Roan [Rouen]. From whom he 
received them Andrew Lynch Bp. of Finnobore. 

Similarly Bishop O 'Donnelly appointed to the see of Dromore 
in 1697, lived in a humble cabin on the slope of Slieve Gullion, 
overlooking Newry. 

Com. Armagh ) A List of the Names of the Popish Parish Priests 
/ as they are registered at a General Sessions of 
the Peace held at Lurgan 10 July 1704. 

No. 6. Patrick Donelly. Place of Abode Corrimallagh. Age 
55. Parish of which he pretends to be Popish Priest That 
part of the Parish of Newry that lies in the Co. Armagh. Time 
of Receiving Popish Orders 1673. Where he received Orders 
at Dundalk. From whom he received them Dr. Oliver Plunket 
Popish Archbishop of Armagh. Sureties Names Terence 
Murphy of Lurgan yeoman 50, Patrick Guinness of Lurgan 
yeoman 50. 

It is probable therefore that nearly all the priests then in Ireland 
registered themselves. For it was believed that the aim of govern- 
ment was merely to enforce the Acts, 9 Will. III. against regulars, 
and 2 Anne against the recruiting of the priesthood from abroad, 


and accordingly that the registration act was directed not against 
the existing clergy but their successors. Hence they willingly 
availed of the refuge which a legal recognition afforded. But 
whether the original plan was to suffer the priesthood to die a 
natural death or not, the opportunity now offered was too good 
to be lost. The registration act had put the clergy fair on the 
anvil, and it was resolved to strike them with the whole strength 

of government. 

8 ANNE, C. 3, SEC 23. 

All popish priests who have been registered in pursuance of the 
former act for registering the popish clergy shall take the oath 
of abjuration before the 25th day of March 1710 in one of the 
four courts at Dublin or at some quarter sessions where such 
popish priests have been registered and upon neglect or refusal 
and after the said 25th day of March celebrating mass or offici- 
ating as a popish priest, such popish priest shall incur such 
penalties and forfeitures as a popish regular clergyman convict 
by the laws of this realm is liable unto. 


I A.B., do truly and sincerely acknowledge, profess testify and 
declare in my conscience before God and the world that our 
sovereign lady Queen Anne is lawful and rightful queen of this 
realm and of all other her majesty's dominions and countries 
thereunto belonging. And I do solemnly and sincerely declare 
that I do believe in my conscience that the person pretended to 
be Prince of Wales during the life of the late King James and 
since his decease pretending to be and taking upon himself the 
style and title of King of England by the name of James the 
Third hath not any right or title whatsoever to the crown of this 
realm or any other the dominions thereto belonging. And I do 
renounce, abjure and refuse any allegiance or obedience to him ; 
and I do swear that I will bear faith and true allegiance to her 
majesty Queen Anne and her will defend to the utmost of my 
power against all traitorous conspiracies and attempt what- 
soever which shall be made against her person, crown or dignity ; 
and I will do my best endeavour to disclose and make known 
to her majesty and her successors all treasons and traitorous 
conspiracies which I shall know to be against her or any of them ; 
and I do faithfully promise to the utmost of my power to support, 
maintain and defend the limitation and succession of the crown 
against him the said James, and all other persons whatsoever 
as the same is and stands limited by an act intitled "An act 
declaring the Right and Liberties of the Subject, and settling 
the Succession of the Crown to her present Majesty and the 
Heirs of her Body being Protestants" and as the same by one 


other act intitled" An act for the further Limitation of the Crown, 
and better securing the Rights and Liberties of the Subject, is 
and stands limited after the decease of her Majesty and for de- 
fault of Issue of her Majesty, to the Princess Sophia Electress 
and Dutchess Dowager of Hanover and the Heirs of her Body 
being Protestants," and all these things I do plainly and sincerely 
acknowledge and swear according to the express words by me 
spoken and according to the plain and common sense and under- 
standing of the same words without any equivocation, mental 
evasion or secret reservation whatsoever ; and I do make this 
recognition, acknowledgment, abjuration, renunciation and 
promise heartily willingly and truly upon the true faith of a 
Christian. So help me God. 

The situation created by this law is admirably described in 
an anonymous pamphlet, printed in Dublin in 1724, entitled "The 
Case of the Catholics of Ireland Humbly represented to both 
Houses of Parliament." It is supposed to have been written by 
Cornelius Nary, parish priest of St. Michan's, Dublin. 

I am no ways concerned at taking the oath of allegiance, which is 
the law of nature and which the common practice of all nations 
allows me to take with a safe conscience to any prince who con- 
quers me and the country of which I am a member, though he 
be never so great a tyrant or usurper even to the Czar of 

Muscovy or the Grand Turk x\s to the oath of 

abjuration there is a vast difference. For there are some clauses 
in it to the truth of which no Roman Catholic at least I am 
convinced I cannotin conscience swear. I shall single out 
three. First I am required to swear that I believe in my con- 
science the late King James or the Pretender has no right or 
title whatsoever to the crown of England. Now I am so far a 
stranger to the right and titles of Kings and princes (and I am 
sure most of my profession if not all, in this kingdom are so) 
that I would not take such an oath to any King, prince or 
potentate in Europe with respect to all such pretenders to their 
crowns. For to be able to swear it, I must have sure and certain 
grounds for my belief. But this is what I could never yet find. 
Nay many divines and persons of note of the Church of England 
have and do still believe that neither the late King James nor 
the Pretender has forfeited his right to the crown. And I am 
sure all the divines and lawyers in France, Spain and Italy are 
of the same opinion. How then can I or any other Roman 
Catholic in this kingdom ground my belief to swear he has not ? 

Secondly there is another clause requiring men to sy/ear they will 
maintain the succession in the Protestant line. N'OW how many 
Roman Catholics, continuing such, can in conscience take such 


an oath ? For I am sworn (should I take the said oath) to 
withdraw my obedience from King George and his successors 
in case he or his successors should become Roman Catholics. 
Nor is this an imaginary case. The King of Navarre, Henry IV, 
was once a Protestant and became a Roman Catholic. The 
Duke of Saxony, now King of Poland, was a Protestant but is 
now a Roman Catholic ; and to come nearer home Charles II. 
and King James his brother both became Roman Catholics. 
How if it should so happen that the royal family should embrace 
the religion which I profess, could I in conscience violate my 
oath of allegiance, and to my power be aiding and assisting in 
dethroning them for what in my opinion and belief they ought 

to do ? 

The third clause in the oath runs thus "I make this recognition 
heartily, willingly" etc. I shall only remark that to my certain 
knowledge many a man as well Protestant as Catholic has taken 
the oath with aching hearts and no other way willingly than as 
a sailor in a storm throws his goods overboard to save his life. 

This last and most drastic act against priests not only created 
consternation at home but fluttered the Catholic chancellories in 
Europe. A few years before when it was proposed to impose the 
Oath of Abjuration the Catholics had successfully petitioned the 
English Privy Council. If this law were enacted, they said : 

No priest could remain in Ireland ; none could come thither 
from abroad under penalty of high treason ; and no Catholic 
could live there, being barred the exercise of his religion. 

They humbly hoped her Majesty would refuse to consent to a law 
which was a breach of faith. 

Petitions to England being now of no avail, the help of Catholic 
Europe was sought. Father Bonaventure De Burgo was sent 
from Rome to the Emperor. He was the ally of Marlborough, and 
Marlborough was virtual ruler of England. The Kings of Poland 
and Portugal, the Duke of Genoa and other minor potentates 
also intervened. In vain, however, all representations made by 
the foreign ambassadors were met as on a former occasion by bold, 
deliberate lying (gg). English statesmen had now the opportunity 
once and for all of getting rid of priests and Catholicism, and were 
not to be deprived of it by mere diplomatic pressure. 

There remain now to be considered the laws forbidding 

(gg) Spicilegium Ossoriense, Vol. II. Klopp's Der Fall des Hauses Stuart 



marriages between Protestants and Catholics. Here we are not 
concerned with the disabilities and penalties inflicted on the con- 
tracting parties but only with the sections that affected priests. 

9 WILLIAM III, C. 28. 

1. No Protestant woman possessed of or heir to real estate or 
personalty of the value of 500 shall take to husband any person 
without having first having obtained a certificate from the 
minister of the parish, bishop of the diocese and neighbouring 
Justice of Peace (or any two of them) that he is a known Pro- 

3. In case any popish priest or other person shall join in marriage 
any Protestant woman having any of the said estates to any 
person without having such certificate, such popish priest or 
other person for every such offence shall on conviction suffer 
one year's imprisonment and forfeit 20. 

6 ANNE, C. 16. 

3. If any person shall by subtilty or threats persuade the son of 
any person having real estate to the yearly value of 50, or 
personal estate to the value of 500, to contract matrimony 
without the consent of his parents or guardians, before he attain 
the age of 21 years, such person shall be disabled etc. 

6. If any popish priest shall celebrate the marriage of such person 
aforesaid, or shall celebrate matrimony between any persons 
knowing at the time either of them is a Protestant, every such 
priest on conviction shall be judged to be a popish regular. 

8 ANNE, C. 3. 

28. Any popish priest prosecuted for offending against the statute 
6 Anne, c. 16, it shall be concluded that the said popish priest 
did celebrate matrimony knowing that they or one of them 
was a Protestant, unless he shall produce certificates from the 
ministers of the parties that the said persons were not Protestants. 

12 GEO. I, C. 3. 

1 . If any popish priest or reputed popish priest or person pretending 
to be a popish priest shall celebrate marriage between two 
Protestants or reputed Protestants or between a Protestant or 
reputed Protestant and a papist, such popish priest shall be 
guilty of felony. 

2. It shall be lawful for any two Justices of the Peace to summon 
persons suspected to be married by such popish priest, or to 
have been present at the celebration of such marriage, and 
examine such persons on oath when and by whom such marriage 
was celebrated. 

19 GEO. II, C. 13. 

1. Every marriage celebrated after 1st May 1746 between a papist 
and any person who hath been a Protestant at any time within 



twelve months of such celebration, or between two Protestants 
if celebrated by a popish priest, shall be absolutely null and void. 

The difficulties of obtaining evidence against priests officiating 
at such marriages are obvious. But very little was needed, and 
if marriage could not be proved, the celebrating of mass easily 
could be, so that the obnoxious priest could be dealt with. 

County of Cork. 

The Information of Francis Fling of Mallow taken before John 
Dillon and John Raymond two of his Majesties Justices of the 
Peace 28 Aprill 1749. 

Said Informant being sworn etc saith that on Saturday Aprill 15 
he met with Father John Everard or Hard a reputed popish 
priest after night fall on the walks of Mallow leading to the 
Well who had some conversation with the said Fr. John Everard 
or Hard relative to the Marriage of Randal Kells and Elizabeth 
Phillpot both of the town of Mallow. Said Fr. John Everard 
or Hard told this Informant the Danger the Priest was in who 
had marryed the said Randal Kells and Elizabeth Phillpot and 
that his neck was in the Halter or some words to that Effect 
and cautioned this Informant how he made any discovery 
relative to such marriage as may indanger the said Priest as 
did marry. This Informant verily believeth such caution to 
him was lest he may make any discovery as may indanger him 
the said Father. Said Informant met Patrick Terrant of Mallow 
about 10 o'clock of night said Randall Kells and said Elizabeth 
Phillpot were marryed, and told him he believed said Randal 
was going to be marryed. 

Robert Philpott Appothecary, being sworn etc. saith On Saturday 
night being the 9th instant finding that his daughter Elizabeth 
was missing, he caused diligent search to be made and in a short 
time had an account that she was at Mrs. Mary Breretons in 
Mallow with Randal Kells of Mallow, Shopkeeper, who insisted 
that the said Elizabeth was his wife. And he is convinced in 
his conscience that the said felonious marriage was celebrated 
by John Everard who for severall yeares past has performed 
the business and office of a popish priest to wit, marrying, saying 
of mass and christening etc. and verily believes that he has 
clandestinely married severall of the Protestant religion and 
verily believes has seduced severall Protestants so as to be of 
the Popish religion. 

Upon the general issue of Everard's being an officiating popish 
priest there was a whole sheaf of informations. Bartholomew 
White, Maurice Power, and John Hays swore they 

Were at the public mass celebrated by Fr. John Everard at the 


chappell near the Fair place on Sunday 26 March last and he 
then appeared in his vestments. 

This was enough for the Cork Grand Jurors. 

We find and present that John Everard otherwise Hard a popish 
priest of the town of Mallow who stands indicted for celebrating 
mass contrary to Law and also for marrying Randal Kells and 
Elizabeth Phillpot two Protestants of the Church of Ireland 
as by Law Established, is a dangerous person out on his keeping 
and has not stood his tryall for these crimes. We therefore 
petition your Lordships he may be proclaimed. 
Signed Robert Longfield, Richard Con [and fourteen others.] 
[Endorsed] At a General Assizes and General Gaol Delivery held 
at the King's Old Castle in and for the County of Cork 5 August 

Whether Everard was run to earth or after due proclamation 
shot down by the first furious Protestant he met, does not appear. 
But this is certain that no priestly ministrations kindled such angry 
passions and were so fiercely resented as assisting at marriages 
where one or both parties were Protestant. In 1726 Rev. Timothy 
Ryan was arrested by the Mayor of Limerick, Lieutenant-General 
Thomas Pierse, on a charge of marrying a Protestant to a Catholic 
wife. He was tried at the assizes and executed. 

The code being complete we may consider here what machinery 
there was for enforcing it. In the first place it is to be remembered 
that the whole military and civil services of the country were to 
a man Protestant. From the Lord Lieutenant down to the tide- 
waiter at the port, and the revenue collector in the country, all 
were Protestants. So too were the county officials, and so the 
borough and parish constables. But behind these was a force 
far more numerous and effective. The two revolutions had set 
down in the country an omni-present garrison of planters. Sprung 
from the Puritan middle class at once the narrowest and most 
energetic of English types they had possessed themselves of the 
land of the Amorrhites by force, and by force they meant to keep 
it. Now upon these the administering of the popery laws mainly 
depended. They composed the magistracy and the grand juries ; 
they made up the petty juries in all cases into which religion entered; 
they formed the quorum at quarter sessions. Having crushed the 
old gentry into pauperism or driven them abroad, only the priests 


remained to lead the multitudinous idolaters around them. Hence 
they eagerly co-operated in the work of extermination. When 
every other year they .met in parliament their rancour often outran 

the laws themselves. 

30 October 1707. 

Resolved nemine contradicente that all popish priests within this 
kingdom are obliged to take the Oath of Abjuration by the laws 
in force in this kingdom and all such priests refusing or neglecting 
to take the same ought to be prosecuted for such refusal or 

Resolved nemine contradicente that it is the indispensible duty of 
all Judges and Magistrates to put the said laws in execution 
against popish priests. 

Needless to say, such was not the law as it then stood. 

20 August 1709. 

Resolved that it appears to this House that several popish titular 
Bishops and regular clergymen of the Church of Rome are 
lately come into this kingdom and exercise within the same, 
foreign jurisdiction and continue the succession of the Romish 
priesthood by ordaining great numbers of popish clergymen. 

Resolved that the laws now in force against popish Bishops and 
regulars coming or returning into this kingdom are defective 
in the detection of such persons and their harbourers and that 
such defect hath chiefly occasioned the coming or returning of 
such popish Bishops and regulars into this kingdom. 

21 June 1710. 

Ordered that a Committee be appointed to inquire and examine 
in what manner the two Acts to prevent the further growth 
of popery have been executed and how they have been evaded 
and that they have power to send for persons, papers and records. 

From these and similar resolutions one may appreciate the 
temper of the class upon whom devolved the execution of the 
popery laws. Even if they felt inclined to mitigate the rigours 
of the law, they had little discretion. The statute 4 Anne, c. 2, 
for example enacted : 

All justices of the peace, sheriffs, high and petty constables and 
all other subjects are required to use their utmost diligence 
in apprehending clergymen of the popish religion and other 

' persons exercising the functions of a popish priest and not regis- 

If any mayor, justice of the peace or other officer, voluntarily 
shall neglect their duty in execution of this act every such 
mayor, justice of the peace and other officer, shall for every 


such neglect forfeit fifty pounds to be recovered by action of 
debt etc. wherein no essoign etc. shall be allowed nor more than 
one imparlance, one moiety thereof to the Queen and the other 
moiety to the informer or person that shall sue for the same. 

The penalties on magistrates not enforcing the law were on 
a fixed scale 50 for not apprehending an unregistered priest ; 
100 for knowingly permitting a priest to come into the kingdom 
from abroad ; 100 for conniving at the presence of a bishop or 
regular clergyman in the country. Moreover in these latter cases 
there was the further penalty of removal from the commission 
of the peace. 

If the evidence of magisterial zeal is not as complete in detail 
as one could desire, the records of the central government on the 
other hand leave little doubt as to the strenuous efforts to enforce the 
code. From 1708 onwards in lengthening intervals to the middle 
of the century there is a series of proclamations against the popish 
clergy. Sometimes it is a general order to quit the country ; 
sometimes a proclamation against a particularly obnoxious -priest ; 
sometimes a promise of reward for the capture of persons who had 
rescued a friar or dignitary. Furthermore the judges going circuit 
received special mandates. Two of these for the year 1715 may 
be given. 


IN MARCH 1714-5. 

3. To Enquire and give Special Charge to the Grand Juryes to 
return what Registered Priests are dead in their severall Counties 
what parishes they belonged to, if any have succeeded and who 
they are. 

4. To Enquire who were the securities for the severall priests 
whether such securities are dead and not to be found and certifie 
their names to the Justices. 

5. To Enquire strictly what priests or reputed priests have come 
from Foreign Parts into this kingdom since the Act ; to present 
their names, Places of Abode and Harbourers. 

6. What persons have transgressed the Act for Foreign Education 
and oblige those suspected to produce their children according 
to the Act. 

10. To put the laws in Execution against all Popish Regulars 
reputed Regulars and all such as pretend to or assume any 



6. Whereas we understand that severall popish priests have been 
convicted and still lie in Gaol when they ought according to 
Law to be transported. You are to Enquire into this matter 
and into the reason why they have not been transported and 
to return their names and the Gaols where they lie to the Chief 
Governors, and order the Sheriff immediately to take care that 
they be transported and if you perceive that the Sheriff cannot 
get them out of the kingdom for the Premium allowed, you are 
to take care that they be removed to Dublin that the Govern- 
ment may order their transportation. 

How the judges interpreted their instructions may be gathered 
from a charge made to the Kilkenny Grand Jury at the summer 
assizes 1714. It was by that model judge, Sir Richard Cox. 

Popery and the Pretender are the greatest and most irreconcile- 
able enemies we have in the world. As for popery it is an im- 
placable enemy to all sorts of Protestants. It considers them 
all as excommunicated heretics and consequently as lying under 
the curse of God here and the sentence of eternal damnation 
hereafter. The papists think us not worthy of Christian burial 
and where they have power they will not allow it. They say 
that out of their church there is no salvation and that out of 
their communion there is no church. Too many of them think 
we are incorrigible rebels and have no title to our lands nor 
much to our goods ; and consequently if they had opportunity 
would think it meritorious to deprive us of both. And of this 
our ancestors had woful experience in the barbarous and bloody 
rebellion of 1641, and we ourselves in the late rebellion of 1689 
when two thousand of us were by name attainted by a sham 
Act of Parliament some women, some children, some who 
had never seen the kingdom. Now Gentlemen you ought to 
observe that this popery which is so dangerous and spiteful 
to you, is also irreconcileable. For the pretended infallibility 
will not suffer papists to reform any error how gross soever, 
or make one step towards you. So that there can be no peace 
with Rome without swallowing all her superstitions and idolatries 
and without believing that monstrous doctrine of Transub- 
stantiation which everybody knows to be false. Besides if you 
would conform to their religion, interest will not let them be 
reconciled to you, as. long as the forfeited estates and the Clergy 

keep the honours and profits of the Church 

Therefore it is absolutely necessary that all Protestants should 
unite for their common preservation since there are no other 
means left to subdue those numerous, indefatigable and im- 
placable enemies. 


Besides instructions to judges, the Council took into consider- 
ation how to make the laws more effective for their purpose. 

By the Lords Justices and Council of Ireland. 
Ordered that a Committee be appointed of the whole board or any 
three of them (whereof one of the Chief Judges to be one) to 
inspect the several Acts of Parliament now in force against 
Popish Priests in this kingdom and that the said Committee do 
forthwith report to this Board what methods they conceive to 
be the most proper to hinder any person from officiating as a 
preist or exercising ecclesiastical jurisdiction in this kingdom 
contrary to law 29 October 1716. 

Nor is it to be supposed that the popery acts were given in 
charge only in seasons of special excitement. There is ample 
evidence that informations were sworn under them and present- 
ments based on them more regularly and for a longer period than 
is generally thought. Even so late as December, 1760, the Grand 
Juries of Dublin City and County were charged to enquire and 
present offences against the Foreign Education Act, and the 
statutes of premunire (M). 

Again when reports came in from parts of the country of 
priests arriving, or of persons supposed to be dignitaries exercising 
jurisdiction, the executive took care to keep the magistrates up 
to concert pitch. 

We are informed that the children of papists are frequently sent 
from severall parts of the Country beyond the Seas for Forreigne 
Education and that the Popish Priests who are not Registered 
or who have not taken the Oath of Abjuration do all over the 
kingdom officiate as Parish Priests without being taken notice 
of or punished for the same. We are very sensible that Justices 
of the Peace not only know these practices are directly contrary 
to Acts of Parliament lately passed in this kingdom but that 
the Government has frequently required them to put the Law 
in Execution- against such practices. We do therefore hereby 
require you to acquaint the said Justices of the Peace herewith 
and let them know We do expect they will for the future show 
their duty to her Maiesties authority, and zeal for the same by 
being active and diligent in putting the laws in Execution against 
persons going out of this kingdom for Foreigne Education 
against all Popish Schoolmasters, against all Papists exercising 
Ecclesiasticall Jurisdiction and all Regulars of the Popish Clergy 
which have come into this kingdom or are remaining therein 

(hh) A charge to the Grand Juries, etc., by the Hon. Christopher Robin- 
son, Second Justice of the King's Bench, Dublin, 1760. 



and the harbourers and concealers of them. Against all Popish 
priests which have come into this kingdom and against all 
Curates and Assistants to the Popish Clergy. Against Popish 
Priests officiating in any parish without being registered, or 
without having taken the Oath of Abjuration or officiating in 
any other parish then those for which they were Registered. 
SHREWSBURY, THOMAS [Archbishop of] Armagh, CON. PHIPPS 
[Lord Chancellor], WILLIAM [Archbishop of] Dublin, JOHN 
[Bishop of] Meath, EDMUND [Bishop of] Down and Connor, etc. 

28 May 1714. 

The magistrates on their part complained that if there were 
any neglect in enforcing the popery laws it was through the fault 
of the executive. Lord Chancellor Phipps had harangued the 
Dublin bench, and actually charged them with conniving at the 
celebration of mass in that city. The curious reply was : 

What magistrates are remiss Even those of his own making. 
His Lordship to increase the number of men of loyalty, has put 
most of the new converts into the Commission of the Peace 
and it is from these magistrates that priests not registered accord- 
ing to law, find shelter and protection, and dare in defiance of the 
laws to say mass openly. That encouragement should be given 
to new converts I allow, but for a man of forty years who has 
all his life lived a violent Roman Catholic on his coming over 
to the Church of Ireland to be put into the Commission of the 
Peace, is a piece of policy beyond my understanding. Can he 
immediately forget all his friends and relations ? Can he be so 
deaf to the ties of relationship as to give up a priest, his cousin 
or perhaps brother, to be prosecuted ? (ii). 

Kindly human nature will however send its growths through 
the hardest soil. Often the devotion and self-sacrifice of the 
priest gained him the sympathy and forbearance of his Protestant 
neighbour ; often too that touch of sport which makes the world 
kin, came to his relief. The following curious letter was found 
among the papers of the late Lord Howth: 

My Lord I have had the honour of being acquainted with your 
Lordship when last you were in this country at Turlevaghan. 
I have a fine Bitch well bred for your Lordship, I will bring her 
to you next April if these Acts permit me to stay in the kingdom 
so long. I never offended King or Government. I bred only 

(ii) Resolutions of the House of Commons in Ireland relative to Lord 
Chancellor Phips with remarks on the Lord Chancellor's speech by a Member 
of Parliament London. 1714. 


good Hounds of all sorts, a double sort of Wolf Dogs. If this 
be an Offence to the Government and whistling a Tune, I never 
will be guilty of it again. If you Expell me, pray give me a 
little time untill my Whelps are able to travell as far as Vienna 
in Germany where I have a harty welcome from Prince Eugenius 
and the Prince of Swartzenberg who keeps the finest kenel of 
hounds in all Germany. There is not a King in Europe that 
keeps as good and as fine a kenel as the Prince of Swartzenberg. 
I seen all, and none comparable to it. Your Lordship can doe 
a great deal in this affaire, I hope if possible you will have me 
exempted, as I know you can if you please. You will have a 
greater loss by my being out of the kingdom than being in the 
kingdom. I am My Lord, Your Lordships humble friend and 
servant. JOHN GINKINS. 

Tuam, Nov. 19. 

I will be uneasy until I hear from your Lordship in Tuam. 

But the friendly magistrate had to reckon with the informer. 

Dublin Castle 4 March 1711-2. 

Sir My Lords Justices having communicated to the Council a 
letter received from Francis Burton Esq. giving an account 
that there are in your County several non-juring popish priests, 
some Regulars and others who exercise Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction 
who ought to be taken up, but as for the registered Priests non 
jurors if information he given against them that they execute 
ecclesiasticall offices the Justices of the Peace will issue their 
warrants against such. These are Mr. Burton's own words. In 
answer to which his Excellency and their Lordships are extreamely 
surprised to find there are so many popish priests in your County 
and no account from you of your having seized and committed 
any of them to Gaole in pursuance of his Excellencies and their 
Lordships express commands signified in my letter of the 26th 
of last month. I am again to repeat to you their former com- 
mands in causing all popish priests, whether they have taken 
the Oath of Abjuration or not or whether they are registered 
or not to be immediately seized and committed to Gaole. His 
Excellency and their Lordships do highly resent your neglect 
and disregard of their orders. So to compensate that omission 
you will exert yourself with more than ordinary diligence and 
zeale in seizing and committing the priests, and in returning an 
account to me what you have done therein with a Certificate of 
the Gaoler of the County of the number and names of the priests 
committed to his care. Your most humble servant 

To Wm Butler Esq. at Ennis. J. DAWSON. 

Here is a worse example of connivance : 

Council Office Dublin Jany. 4, 1713. 

Sir I am commanded by their Excellencies the Lords Justices 
and Council to send you the enclosed Examination [missing] 


against Francis Baker Mayor of Youghall and Francis White for 
taking money to allow Popish Priests to say mass in the town of 
Youghall, with their Excellencyes directions that you cause them, 
to be prosecuted according to Law. I am etc. 

To Sir Richard Levinge, Baronett, her Majestyes Attorney Generall. 

It is probable also that in many cases magistrates interpreted 

the law liberally. ^ , v n ,, _ _ . .,_,_ 

J Dublin Castle 5 December 1712. 

Some Queries having been sent up from severall Counties to the 
Lords Justices concerning popish priests committed pursuant to 
the late Proclamation of the Lords Justices and Council, Their 
Excellencies and Lordships directed the Cheife Judges to con- 
sider thereof and return an answer thereto to the direction of 
the severall Justices of the Peace ; and the Cheife Judges having 
laid before their Excellencies their opinion therein I am directed 
to send you a copy thereof to be communicated to the Justices 
of the Peace of your County at the next Quarter Sessions. 


Questions proposed to their Excellencies the Lords Justices of 
Ireland and their Answers. 


Whether Popish Archbishops, Bishops, Vicars Generall, Deans, 
Jesuits, Monks, Fryars or any other of the Regular Popish Clergy 
or any Papist exercising any Ecclesiastical! Jurisdiction who 
did not depart out of this kingdom before the first day of May 
1698 or did come into it from any place beyond the Sea after 
the 29th day of December 1697 being taken or committed by 
one or more Justices of the Peace to prison may be bailed ? 

Answer. They may be bailed till Tryall and Conviction but if 
after Conviction and Transportation any of them return, it is 
Treason and not bailable by Justices of Peace. 


Whether secular priests who are not registered or being registered 
have not taken the Oath of Abjuration and yet exercise their 
function out of their Parish or that have any curate, assistant 
or Coadjutor or that have come into this kingdom since the 
first day of June 1703, are to be treated as Regulars ? 

Answer. They are to be treated as Regulars, and baylable till 
Conviction as aforesaid. 


Whether the Reward of 20 for apprehending Regular or Secular 
Popish Clergy does extend to such priests, or which of them ? 

Answer. It extends to all of them. 


Whether the witnesses against them should have personall summons 


to appear before Justices of Peace or whether summons in writing 
left at their habitation will be sufficient ? 

Answer. The summons ought to be personall else the penalty 
should not be inflicted (kk). 

Though for the first quarter of the century government bent 
itself with all its strength to the working of the code, the results 
were not commensurate. 

Quid leges, sine moribus 

Vanae proficiunt ? 

Father Nary wrote in 1724. "It is certain that of eleven 
hundred Roman Catholic priests who were registered pursuant to 
the act of parliament for that purpose, not above thirty-three 
priests ever took the Oath of Abjuration ; and of these thirty- 
three one half are now dead ; and of the registered priests more 

than two-thirds Must the civil and quiet priests 

who have lived these many years in the country be destroyed for 
the indiscretion of other priests whose coming they knew nothing 
of, nor if they had, was it in their power to prevent ?" So that 
not only had the statute against priests coming into the country 
broken down, but the vast mass of those known and registered were 
living as outlaws in defiance of government. This fact is borne 
out by authorities on both sides. The Commons Journal records : 

19 December 1713. 

Ordered that all Justices of the Peace and Clerks of the Crown 
and Peace throughout this kingdom do immediately after next 
quarter sessions certify to this House what popish registered 
priests have taken the Oath of Abjuration and what priests 
having neglected to take the said Oath do still exercise their 
functions of priests. 

Ordered that all Justices of the Peace and Clerks of the Crown 
and Peace do at the next quarter sessions certify to this House 
what popish priests not registered or who have neglected to 
take the Oath of Abjuration have exercised their functions 
since the time they ought to have been so registered or taken 
the said Oath and whether any and what prosecution hath been 
had against them for so doing. 

Ordered that all sheriffs, Justices of the Peace, Clerks of the Crown 
and Peace and gaolers do certify this House what priests have 

(kk) [Added] As neare as I could collect the sense of the Judges they 
all agree in the above answers which I pray you communicate to their Ex- 
cellencies, from your humble servant RICHARD Cox. 


been convicted pursuant to the late Act and which of them 
have been transported and which not, with the causes of their 
not being transported. 

The continuance of the priests in the country was indeed a 
constant source of complaint by the Protestant clergy. Secretary 
Sunderland was in 1715 apprised by Archbishop King of Dublin : 

For want of a due execution of the laws many priests are come in 
from foreign parts and there are in the country Popish bishops 
concealed that ordain many. Little inquiry of late has been 
made into these matters. 

In May, 1723, Nicholson, bishop of Derry, writes : 

The present insolence of our Popish clergy is unspeakable. Our 
law makes it death for any of them (not qualified and licensed 
as the Act of Parliament directs by taking the oath of abjuration) 
to officiate ; and yet I am abundantly assured that very lately 
in my own diocese four or five masses were openly .said by as 
many different priests over the corpse of an executed robber, 
whose funeral rites were celebrated with as pompous and numerous 
an attendance as if the man had died knight of the shire (//). 

The executive blamed the magistrates and the magistrates 
blamed the law. The most elaborate contrivances for the detection 
and capture of the bishops and priests had failed to work. When 
a priest was caught, it could not be extorted from him who the 
ordaining prelate was, for several hands had been imposed on him 
at the same time. 

And whereas they have conferred popish holy orders on popish 
priests who were not popish priests at the time of the registring, 
which they perform by laying on of the hands of many of the 
popish priests together to the intent that the party himself so 
receiving the said holy orders may not know in whom the power 
of conferring such popish holy orders was lodged. For the 
more effectual prevention of the mischiefs be it enacted etc. 
(8 Anne, c. 3, s. 25). 

Again the simple expedient of hanging a curtain between the 
priest and the congregation not only outwitted the professional 
spies but rendered the inquisitions devised by the statute, utterly 
useless. For thereby Catholics hearing mass were enabled to 
disclaim on oath all knowledge of the identity of the priest. Parlia- 
ment however did not yet despair ; each session brought forth 

(II) Quoted by Lecky. 


new plans. Though none of these got into the statute book a 
few deserve to be recorded as they afford singular evidence of the 
frantic bigotry of the times. In 1723 the Lord Lieutenant invited 
the faithful Commons to consider how the code could be amended 
and the outlawed priests brought to justice. The result was a 
bill which in the words of Lecky "deserves to rank with the most 
infamous edicts in the whole history of persecution" (mm). But 
there were lower levels still. In 1719 the Irish Privy Council 
made a proposal to the English cabinet for the extirpation of the 
priests which can hardly be discussed in decent history. And the 
episode should never find a place in these pages were not the facts 
long denied, and was there not in our own day an attempt by the 
most popular of English historians to misrepresent them. Govern- 
ments in frenzied panic or under the stress of great provocation 
have from time to time been guilty of great cruelty or baseness, 
but it may be questioned whether in cold blood and in the course of 
routine administration any similar proposal was ever made. For 
there is here no plea of domestic treason or an enemy at the gates. 
The country was in profound peace and a peace moreover which 
could not be broken. The Duke of Bolton, Lord Lieutenant, 
writes to the English Council, 8th July, 1719 : 

I must owne I thinke wee have not much reason to apprehend 
intestine commotion from the Irish. The Protestants are well 
affected and in such condition as to be able in conjunction with 
the remaining part of the army to prevent any disturbance from 
the natives while there may be a necessity of employing some of 
the forces of this kingdom in another place. 

Yet on the 14th July the Commons 

Ordered that leave be given to bring in heads of a bill for better 
securing the Protestant interest of this kingdom by further 
amending the several Acts of Parliament to prevent the further 
growth of Popery and that Mr. Trotter, Mr. Attorney General, 
Mr. Solicitor General, Mr. Bernard, Mr. Marlay, and Mr. Ward 
do prepare and bring in the same. 

The bill was introduced on 4th August, and six days later 
Mr. Trotter was ordered to attend the Lord Lieutenant with the bill 
and request him to have it transmitted to England. In sending 
the bill, his grace writes to Secretary Craggs: 

(mm) See Bill in full in Appendix. 


Dublin Castle 25 August 1719. 

Sir I have transmitted to the Lords Justices [of England] by 
this Pacquet nine more of the Publick Bills which will not I 
believe be found liable to many objections so as to take up much 
of your time. The Popery Bill as it came from the House of 
Commons inflicted no greater Punishment on the Priests of the 
Roman Religion than that of burning on the Cheek ; but it 
being observed that when that punishment was executed in this 
kingdom in other cases, the Rapparees in their Robberies 
made it a Common practice to brand innocent persons with 
that mark in order to destroy the distinction it was intended 
for. And that nothing less than a very severe punishment 
would be effective to prevent the frequent arriving of priests 
here it was thought proper by the Privy Council to deter them 
with the penalty of Castration. If that be thought in England 
too severe yet as the Bill contains severall very material clauses 
and very beneficiall to the Protestant Interest I cannot but 
think it very proper to be returned whatever alteration may be 
made in that particular And am with very great truth Sir 

Your most obedient humble servant 


The letter of the Irish Privy Council urging the measure was 

sent two days later. 

Council Chamber, Dublin Castle, 

27th of August 1719. 

My Lords We herewith transmit to your Excellencies the following 
bill " An Act for Securing the Protestant Interest of this King- 
dom by further Amending the several Acts of Parliament made 
against Papists and to Prevent the Growth of Popery." The 
heads of this bill arose in the House of Commons who being 
sensible (as the truth is) that there are now more unregistered 
Priests and Popish Archbishops, Bishops, Jesuits, Friars and 
others exercising foreign ecclesiastical jurisdiction in this kingdom 
than ever heretofore, notwithstanding the many laws against 
the same, found it impossible to prevent that evil otherwise than 
by subjecting persons who should be convicted of being un- 
registered Popish Priests, Popish Archbishops etc., to greater 
penalties than those they were liable to by the former acts. 
After the country hath paid a sum of twenty pounds to the 
discoverer of every such offender and been at great expense at 
prosecuting and convicting them of the offence, they are only 
liable to transportation, unless they return after being trans- 
ported but for so doing are punishable with death. Priests 
Friars etc. are no sooner transported but new ones come over 
from France, Spain, or Portugal, so that their number continues 
as great as ever. The common Irish will never become Prot- 
estant or well affected to the crown while they are supplied 


with Priests, Friars etc. who are the fomenters and disturbers 
here. So that some more effectual remedy to prevent Priests 
and Friars coming into , this kingdom is perfectly necessary. 
The. Commons proposed the marking of every priest who shall 
be convicted of being an unregistered Priest, Friar, etc. and of 
remaining in this kingdom after the 1st of May 1720 with a 
large, P. to be made with a red hot Iron on the cheek. The 
council generally disliked that punishment, and have altered it 
into that of castration which they are persuaded will be the 
most effectual remedy that can be found out to clear this nation 
of the disturbers of the peace and quiet of the kingdom, and 
would have been very well pleased to have been able to have 
found out any other punishment which might in their opinion 
have remedied the evil. If your Excellencies shall not be of 
the same sentiments they submit to your consideration whether 
the punishment of castration may not be altered to that proposed 
by the Commons or to some other effectual one which may 
occur to your Lordships' consideration, but are fully convinced 
there is an absolute necessity of making the laws against un- 
registered Priests and Friars more severe than it (sic) now is. 

There are several other good clauses and provisions in this bill, 
of which the nation will receive great benefit, and which are very 
needful to be enacted into law. 

We therefore desire your Excellencies will be pleased that it may 
be returned in form under the great seal. 

We are your Excellencies most humble servants. 
[CHARLES PAULET, Duke of] Bolton. 
[ALLEN BRODERICK, Lord] Middleton, Cane. 
JOHN [EVENS, Bishop of] Meath. 
JOHN [STERNE, Bishop of] Clogher. 

To their Excellencies the Lords Justices of Great Britain, Whitehall. 
[Under Cover] To Charles Delafoy, Secretary to their Excel- 
lencies the Lord Justices of Great Britain, Whitehall. 

The Catholics would appear to have got wind of the proceed- 
ings at the Irish Council, for a petition was at once drafted praying 
to be heard against the bill. The petition unfortunately is now 
lost but the covering letter of the secretary to the Irish Council, 
addressed to Delafaye, the English secretary, is among the 
correspondence at the London Record Office. 

Dublin Castle 26 August 1719. 

Sir I enclose to you a copy of a petition which has been delivered 
to the Privy Council by Gerard Dillon and others praying to 


be heard by counsel upon the Bill to prevent the Growth of 
Popery. That no such application may meet with encourage- 
ment on your side, I have to acquaint you that that Bill had 
its commencement in the House of Commons and was a long 
time depending there without any petition being offered against 
it ; that it lay some time before the Privy Council before it 
was engrossed ; that this petition was not prepared till the 
22nd of August instant which was eight dayes after it was 
engrossed, upon which observations as well as that it was out of 
time made it to be rejected, and it seems to be calculated with 
no other view but to give delay to that Bill. E. WEBSTER. 

The English Council ignored the recommendation of their 
Irish confreres but under what circumstances does not appear. 
Lecky, who relates the incident seems to suggest that the castration 
bill was abandoned through the good feeling or good sense of the 
English. An account in a tract printed in Paris in 1766 styled 
an Essai sur I'Histoire d'Irlande is less creditable. According to 
this the dropping of the bill was due to diplomatic pressure on the 
part of the French who were then in close alliance with the English. 
A memorial on the subject was drawn up by some representative 
Irishmen in France and presented to the Regent, the Duke of 
Orleans. The recently published correspondence of the all in- 
fluential Dubois appears to confirm this, for it shows that from 
1718 onwards there was a constant interchange of pourparlers 
between the ambassadors of the respective countries in behalf of 
the Irish and English Catholics on the one side and the Camisards 
and Cevennois on the other (nn). 

The castration proposal marks the acutest stage of the per- 
secution. But already even, saner counsels were beginning to- 
make themselves heard. Synge, bishop of Raphoe, writes to 
Wake, archbishop of Canterbury, April 13th, 1715 : 

As long as such a number of Popish Preists are suffered to continue 
among the Irish there may indeed be very little prospect of 
doing any great good upon them. But let a way be found to 
remove their Preists and place a competent number of Protestant 
Teachers in their room and in twenty or thirty years the whole 
nation would be Protestants and past all danger of relapse 
again into Popery. And this I am of opinion may be done 
without any sanguinary law or anything which by an impartial 
man would be looked upon as persecution. 

(nn) Le Regent, L'Abbe Dubois et Les Anglais Tome III, pp. 444 
seq. Paris, 1899. 


There are in this kingdom some few popish priests who pursuant 
to an Act of Parliament are registered and thereby have if not 
the protection yet at least the connivance of the Law and as 
these must one by one drop off in a few years by Death, so the 
hurt which they do cannot possibly be of any great extent or 
long continuance. But within these few years a vast number 
more (and many of them said to be Regulars) are come into 
all parts of the kingdom who if not arrested and a succession of 
them prevented will certainly defeat all endeavours that can be 
used in the conversion of the natives. For the doing of this 
wherefore besides the laws which we already have, I would propose 
one more to be made of which I would desire your Lordship to 

The [point] of it should be to this effect that the Grand Jury of 
every county should make presentments of every popish priest 
that is not registered who makes his abode anywhere within 
the said county, whose names should be all published and pro- 
claimed in open court by the Cryer of every Assizes and Quarter 
Sessions. And if such preists do not within a certain time depart 
the kingdom every man who should apprehend any one of them 
and bring him before a Justice of the Peace should be entitled 
to a certain reward to be levied upon the Papists of the Baron} 7 
where such preist had his ordinary abode, in like manner as is 
by the law already provided when a robbery is committed by 
any papist. And besides this that so much money should be 
raised upon the papists of the said Barony as might be sufficient 
to bear such preists charges in safe custody to be conducted to 
the water side and pay for his transportation. And if once the 
papists found the entertaining and sheltering of their preists to 
become thus chargeable to them (besides their maintenance 
while they continue amongst them) I doubt not but they would 
soon weary of them and be willing to embrace the Established 
Religion for which next to their own they seem to have the 
greatest inclination. ED. RAPOT. 

Subsequently indeed there were occasional paroxysms. In 
1733 for instance, a bill passed the Commons annulling all marriages 
celebrated by popish priests or friars. This attempt to bastardize 
an entire nation did not get beyond the Irish Council. But upon 
the whole a steady defervescence of bigotry is noticeable after 
1720. It is significant however, that the most tolerant of viceroys 
down to Earl Fitzwilliam, had his own scheme for dealing with 
the priests a scheme which was prevented from becoming law 
only by the fanaticism of the Irish Commons. Lord Chesterfield 
writing to his friend, Bishop Chenevix, of Waterford, 29th January, 
1755, says: 


I have carefully read over Lord Limerick's bill and approve of 
the principle. I had thought of such a one when I was in Ireland 
but soon found it would be impossible to carry it through the 
House of Commons in- any decent shape ; but should Lord 
Limerick think proper to push it this session I would recommend 
a few alterations : I would only require the priests to take the 
oath of allegiance simply, and not the subsequent oaths which 
in my opinion, no real papist can take ; the consequence of 
which would be that the least conscientious priests would be 
registered and the most conscientious ones excluded. Besides 
that, where one oath will not bind, three will not ; and the pope's 
dispensation from the oath of allegiance will not be more pre- 
valent, nor more easily granted than his dispensation from that 
oath by which his own power is abjured. But then I would 
make that oath of allegiance more full and solemn, as for instance : 

I, A.B., duly considering the sacred nature of an oath and the 
horrible crime of perjury which by all the religions in the world 
is justly abhorred as a most damnable sin, do most sincerely 
promise and swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance 
to his Majesty King George the Second. So help me that great 
and eternal God who knows my inmost thoughts and whom I 
now most solemnly call upon to attest the truth of them. 

The person taking this oath should be obliged to recite it distinctly 
and deliberately, and not be allowed to mutter it over in that 
indecent and slovenly manner in which oaths are generally taken. 
I will venture to add those who will not observe this oath taken 
in this manner, will still less observe any abjuration of the Pope's 
dispensing power, since such abjuration is by all Papists looked 
upon as a nullity. 

I would also advise that all penalties of death which in these cases 
must end in impunity, should be changed into close imprison- 
ment for a term of years or for life. Then there would be perhaps 
detections and prosecutions, but in case of death there will be 
none. For who will go and .hang a poor devil only for being a 
regular, or an enthusiast ? (oo). 

The bill of Lord Limerick which Chesterfield suggested to have 
amended, was one of those introduced in the years 1755-8. The 
last attempt in the long series of repressive legislation may be 
set down at length. It throws a curious light on a period when 
toleration was supposed to prevail. 


1. All popish priests now in this kingdom shall register themselves 
for their several parishes, with the particulars of their abode, age 
ordination etc. as contained in the Act 2 Anne, c. 7. The returns 
to be printed as before. 

(oo) Miscellaneous Works, Vol. iv. 


2. If the parish for which such popish priest is registered is of 
so great extent that one priest is not sufficient, one or more 
additional priests may be registered for said parish but the 
number of priests so added must not exceed 200 in the whole 

3. Any popish gentleman may retain as chaplain a popish secular 
priest, provided that the number so retained shall not exceed 50 
in the whole kingdom. 

4. All popish priests registered or to be registered pursuant to this 
act shall previously be approved of by the Lord Lieutenant 
and Privy Council of this kingdom and shall take the oath an- 
nexed. The said oath shall also be taken by gentlemen who 
retain popish chaplains. 

5. All successors to the existing popish clergy shall subscribe the 
following declaration viz. : I A.B. solemnly declare on the 
faith of a Christian and a priest that I am a secular priest and 
not a regular. 

6. No benefit of registration shall extend to any popish priest who 
shall seduce any person professing the Protestant religion to 
forsake the same or who shall persuade any person to serve the 
Pretender or other foreign prince. 

7. If any popish priest shall exercise his function outside the 
parish for which he is registered he shall forfeit the benefit of 

8. Registered priests shall be bound at each mass they celebrate 
to exhort their congregation in English or Irish to pray for King 
George and his successors by name, under pain of removal by 
the Lord Lieutenant. 

9. If any priest secular or regular who has not been registered 
shall remain in this kingdom after the 1st day of January 1759 
or shall come into it after that date he shall be liable to a penalty 
of one year's imprisonment after which he shall be transported 
beyond his Majesty's dominions whence he is not to return under 
the penalty of imprisonment for his natural life. 

10. After 1st January 1759 any person who knowingly hears the 
mass of an unregistered priest or harbours him shall be liable to 
a fine of 100 payable to the person who prosecutes. 

11. Any person who after 1 January 1759 gives such information 
of a popish unregistered priest secular or regular, that he be 
taken and convicted shall receive the sum of 100 to be levied 
on the popish inhabitants of the county city or town where 
such popish unregistered priest was taken. 

12. This act is to come into force 1 January 1759 and to continue 
for seven years and the end of the Parliamentary session next 

I A.B. do promise and swear to bear true faith and allegiance to 
his Majesty King George the Second his heirs and successors 
according to the succession now limited by law, and that I will 


reveal all whatsoever treasons, treasonable conspiracies or plots 
against his person, crown and dignity, shall come to my knowledge. 
I profess that I detest and abhor from my heart as impious, 
scandalous and abominable to believe that it is lawful to murder 
or destroy any person or persons whatsoever, for or under pre- 
tence of being heretics, also that vile and unchristian principle 
that no faith should be kept with heretics. I declare further 
that it is not an article of my faith that any person whatever 
has power to absolve me from the obligation of this oath or 
that the Pope has power to depose princes, and therefore I 
promise and swear that I will not teach, preach, hold, maintain 
or abet any such doctrine or tenets. And all this I promise and 
swear on the faith of a Christian and a priest freely, readily and 
willingly in the plain and ordinary sense of the words now read 
unto me without any secret collusion, equivocation, evasion or 
mental reservation whatsoever. So help me God. 

Stringent in all conscience though this bill was, it was too 
tolerant for the persecutors. It was scouted in the Lords by 
Primate Stone, the three archbishops and ten bishops, on the 
ground it gave a legal status to the priests in the country. On 
the 23rd December, 1757, Charles O'Connor of Ballinagare, writes 
to Dr. Curry: 

Nothing is more certain than that the primate opposed that bill 
on the principle of persecution, that he represented it not as an 
indulgence only but as a toleration of popery by law, which 
he thought should never be admitted. I must confess that 
enemies are preferable to friends on the tolerating principles 
of the registry bill ; but time and experience may correct the 
nistakes of the latter, the former can never be reformed (pp). 

And this bill every clause of which was a fetter and every 
line an implied insult, a bill which would have subjected them to 
the placet of a government of furious bigots, even this would have 
been welcomed by the priests as some measure of relief. Verily 
the iron had entered into their souls (qq). 

(pp) O'Connor's Irish Catholics, p. 245. 

(qq) The bill was the result of an understanding between Lord Clan- 
brassil (formerly Lord Limerick) on the one hand and Lord Trimleston and 
some of the Catholic bishops, on the other. The Roman authorities 
came down upon the bishops for their miserable temporising. In a letter 
in my possession written by Dr. Kent, president of the Irish College, 
Louvain, 18th September, 1775, regarding the test oath of that year appears 
the following "It happened many years ago that the chiefs in Ulster, Lord 
Trimlestown at their head, formed a formulary to pray for kings and princes, 
with the same expectation of indulgence. Whereupon they of the City 
[Rome] took fire and gave them Blake for Primate. Daniel Reilly of Clogher 
who expected to become Archbishop of Dublin was frustrated of his hopes 
and (the affair) caused a flame that is not well quenched to this day." 



CRINGE the motive causes of the code were neither purely 
^V religious nor purely political, its results were similarly 
^J mixed. The laws that aimed at pauperising the Irish 
people were entirely effective. By the last quarter of the eight- 
eenth century the Catholics were almost completely detatched 
from the land and trade of the country and reduced to mere 
occupiers, artisans, or day labourers. More calamitous even, and 
more permanent in their effects were the parts of the code which 
deprived them of the parliamentary and municipal franchises, 
which inflicted on them various civil disabilities and above all, 
which deprived them of education. Indeed it may be truly said 
that these laws have lasted even to our own day ; for to them as 
to their source may be traced some of the worst defects in the 
national character. The absence of public spirit as distinct from 
mere class interest, the tendency to factionism, the inability to rise 
above party, the blind following of men rather than principles 
all this is symptomatic of a people who have only recently entered 
upon citizenship and have not fully realised its responsibilities. 
But the wounds inflicted by the code went deeper still. They 
were not merely civil but personal. The poet writes : 

What wonder if our step betrays 
The free man born in penal days ! 

It is hardly an exaggeration to say that most Irishmen are 
still haunted by a sub-conscious feeling of inferiority social or 
even intellectual. They have many virtues but amongst them 
can hardly be reckoned personal dignity, mental independence, 
and self restraint. They shrink from initiative and are impression- 
able to a degree. Their subtlety, their indirectness of expression, 
their want of candour has often been remarked. They rejoice 
at recognition and welcome patronage, yet on the other hand their 
intemperateness of language and feeling often alienate those whose 
good will they would fain conciliate. In short the habits of slavery 


induced by the penal code have deprived us as a people of that 
sturdy individualism which respects oneself and respects others, 
and which is as widely .removed from insolence as it is from 

While the code in so far as it was meant to pauperise and 
degrade, was completely successful, it was a signal failure in its 
main purpose of Protestantising the mass of the people. Nay 
even it had the very opposite effect ; for whilst in the sixteenth 
century they, clergy as well as laity, gave evidence of the wavering 
convictions of the period, in the nineteenth they had become 
the most staunch Catholics in northern Europe. How this result 
was brought about is beside our purpose to discuss. The last 
chapter shows that it was through no want of repressive legislation 
nor of malignant activity. It is well therefore to take a closer 
view of the machinery provided and its application to the actual 
condition of the country. 

It will be remembered that the Act of 1709 compelled all 
priests in the country to take the oath of abjuration under the 
penalty of transportation and of high treason if they returned 
after having been transported. As only some thirty-three con- 
formed, the whole body after 25th March, 1710, became outlaws. 
Forthwith they put themselves upon the people. They hid in 
lanes and garretts or in moors and mountains ; and protected 
and sheltered by the whole population they bade defiance to the 
law. Though rewards were offered of sums which in those days 
would be wealth untold to the wretched peasantry, no one would 
take the bribe. Accordingly the following method was adopted : 

8 ANNE, C. 3, S. 21. 

It shall be lawful for any two justices of the peace whereof one to 
be of the quorum, by warrants directed to any constable to 
summons any popish person of the age of sixteen years or upwards 
to appear before such justices at a certain time and place in 
the warrants to be expressed, within three days after the date 
of the said warrants so that the said place of appearance be not 
above five miles from the habitation of the said person ; and 
if the person so summoned shall neglect to appear accordingly, 
or appearing shall refuse to give his testimony upon oath where 
and when he heard, or was present at the celebration of the 
popish mass as the same is used in the church of Rome, and 


who celebrated the same and who were present at the celebration 
thereof, and likewise touching the residence and abode of any 
popish regular clergyman or any such popish secular priest as 
aforesaid who may be disguised, concealed or itinerant in the 
country, and also fully answer to all such circumstances and 
things touching such popish persons offending contrary to this 
and the former act to prevent the further growth of popery. 

Such persons so refusing or neglecting to appear or to answer 
shall be committed by the said justices to the common gaol for 
twelve months unless he or she shall pay down a sum not ex- 
ceeding twenty pounds to be paid to the minister, church wardens 
and overseers of the poor of the parish where such offender shall 

Provided that every examination to be given in pursuance of this 
act shall be for such of the said offences only as were committed 
within thirty days before such examination, and that no such 
examination shall subject the party examined to any prosecution, 
penal ty or forfeiture, or be admitted to be given in evidence 
against the person so examined unless such person shall be in- 
dicted for having committed wilful perjury in such examination, 
and the person so examined and confessing is discharged from 
any prosecution or penalties or forfeitures by him incurred by 
reason of any offence so confessed as aforesaid. 

A few instances of the working of this section may be given. 
In 1714 the magistrates of Cashel certified to John White, High 
Sheriff of Tipperary. 

We certify that pursuant to an Act of Parliament made in the 
8th year of Queen Ann we summoned several! of the most con- 
siderable Papists in this town who upon their oath declared 
they had not heard mass celebrated in or near this town at any 
time within the space of thirty days past. And we do further 
certify that all suspected places in this town were searched and 
no arms found in any of them. All which we certify under our 
hands, this tenth day of July 1714. 



John .Sweetman of the Red Houses of Baldoyle in said county 
farmer being duly sworn on the Holy Evangelists and Examined. 
Saith that the last time he heard mass was on Sunday next 
sevennight. That the said Mass was said and celebrated by one 
Father Tracie a Popish Priest in the town of Hoath. He knoweth 
not the said Priest's Christian name. Saith that James Comon, 
Christopher Higley, Toby Tallant, Patrick Carr all of Hoath 
were at the celebration or saying of the said Mass. That the 
place of the said Trade's Residence is usually att or neare the 



town of Baldoyle. And that he doth not know of any Romish 
Bishop or Regular cleargy man of the Popish religion in this 
kingdom. Saith that there was one Christopher Meldon lately 
taught school in the Town of Baldoyle, that the said Meldon is 
now in Confinement at Kilmainham and that he knows of no 
other person that taught school within the said county. 


appear in the sum of] 40 THOMAS STEPNEY. 



The Examinacon of Thomas Power of Twocarny in the Barony of 
Tyreawly and County of Mayo taken before Robert Blackny Esq. 
mayor of the town and county of the town of Gallway and Mark 
Wall Esq. Deputy Recorder the 25th day of June 1715. 

The said Examinat saith that he is a dealer that lives in the county 
of Mayo and being examined whether he was a clergy man of 
the Church of Rome would not answer whether he was or not. 
Saith he came to Gallway two days agoe expecting to meet one 
Madden of the Barony of Longford in the County of Gallway 
and was resolved to go to the said Madden 's house when he could 
not meet him here ; and being further examined what manner of 
dealing he had or followed in the County of Mayo to which he 
answered that he kept a plow going and being examined if he 
knew any of the Protestant gentlemen in the said Barrony of 
Tyreawly the said Examinat made answer that he knew John 
Ormsby Esq. of Cloghans in the said County of Mayo and James 
Oram another gentleman of that Barrony and the said Ex- 
aminat being further desired to answer directly whether he was 
a clergy man of the church of Rome or not would make no other 
answer than that the Mayor was pleased to say soe. 



From reports such as these it will be seen that the inquisitions 
held under the act were not futile. Doubtless the zeal of the 
magistrates varied with the locality and the status of the ecclesias- 
tics. Friars and priests exercising jurisdiction were pursued with 
with relentless activity, and more than once the few bishops who 
had the hardihood to remain in the country took shelter in 
Dublin (rr). Apart from religious and political fanaticism, the 
rewards offered by the law and often increased by special proclama- 
tion, gave a great stimulus to the pursuit. 

(rr) "On the 28 B'ebruar}? 1743 a proclamation was issued 

all the bishops and priests fled to Dublin because in so large a city it was 
easier to lie concealed than in the country' Hibernia Dominicana, pp. 
175, 717. 


8 ANN, C. 3, S. 20. 

If any person shall discover any bishop, vicar general, dean, Jesuit, 
monk, friar or any other regular, or any papist exercising any 
ecclesiastical jurisdiction or any secular popish clergyman who 
hath not been legally registered so that the said regular or secular 
clergyman be apprehended and convicted, every person making 
such discovery shall receive as a reward for the same the several 
sums following that is to say, fifty pounds for every archbishop, 
bishop, vicar generall, or other person exercising any foreign 
ecclesiastical jurisdiction in this kingdom and twenty pounds for 
each regular clergyman and each secular clergyman not registered 
pursuant to the said former act, to be levied on the popish in- 
habitants of the county or town where such regular or secular 
popish clergyman did respectively exercise such foreign juris- 
diction or officiate as a popish priest or did more commonly 
reside and shall be convicted thereof as aforesaid, to be levied 
in such manner and on such persons as money for robberies by 
a late act against tories, robbers and rapparees is to be levied. 

The multitudinous correspondence on this part of the subject 
may be illustrated by a few characteristic documents. 

To their Excellencies the Lords Justices of Ireland. 

The humble petition of Samuel Munsell High Sheriff of the 
County of Limerick. 

Sheweth That your Petitioner brought up to this City three 
convict priests and one felon who were under rule of Trans- 
portation, in order to be transported. 

That your Petitioner delivered three of the said persons to the 
Court of King's Bench the other being a priest and not able 
to come upp was left behind being above eighty years of age 
which appeareth by severall affidavits. 

That your Petitioner was at great charge at having horses for the 
said persons to ride on and severall Protestants to guard them 
being .apprehensive of their being rescued, there being severall 
Popish Tories out in Arms in the severall counties through 
which they were to pass. 

May it please your Excellencies to grant such reward etc. 

The humble petition of William Montgomery etc. 

Sheweth That at the Assizes for the County of Antrim held on 
the 28th day of March 1716. John McDonald a popish priest 
not registered was tried and found guilty for exercising the 
function of a popish priest and not being registered, at your 
Petitioner's prosecution. 

That your Petitioner was at great trouble and expense in appre- 
hending and prosecuting the said McDonald. 

He therefore prays for a grant of the reward set forth in the 


Enclosed is certificate of the Clerk of the Crown. 
[Endorsed] Proclamation dated 25 November 1704 gives 30 

To his Excellency the Earl of Pembroke Lord Lieutenant etc. 
The Humble, petition of Richard Pue. 

Humbly Sheweth That there is one Robert Robison (alias Brady) 
a Native of Ireland born but long resident in ffrance, a ffranciscan 
frier but now in Ireland under the Notion (sic) of a Protestant 
but at the same time exercises the Romish religion celebrating 
mass and confessing in Dublin. He now teacheth a public school 
of Latin, Greek, Logick and Philosophy and is guilty of dangerous 
practises. He has been impeached by some worthy gentlemen 
but by his Jesawiticall policy Baffles his accusers. There is one 
Mr. James Harper a Protestant living at Dicks Coffee house in 
Skinners row that is intimately conversant with the said friar 
and is said to be privy to his dangerous interagues [intrigues] 
of which the Petitioner is advised to acquaint your Excellency 
fearing ill consequences from such persons and actings. 

The Petitioner humbly prays your Excellency to examine the 
said Mr. Harper and Enquire into the matter as in your great 
wisdom shall think fitt. 

[Endorsed] To be sent to the Attorney General! or Solicitor. 

Enclosed is a note. 

The Petitioner desires not to be exposed unless Mr. Harper deny 
his knowledge of said person and his actions. Your Petitioner 
being in the nature of a servant to the Honourable House of 
Commons urged Mr. Harper to apply to the house which he 
promised but did not. 

To his Grace the Duke of Bolton Lord Lieutenant General etc. 
The Humble petition of Samuel Porter of Inishannon in the 
County of Corke. 

Sheweth That your petitioner for severall years pasf showed 
most sincere zeale and affection for his Majestie King George's 
service and the Protestant interest by his diligence in appre- 
hending and prosecuting many of the regular and secular popish 
Clergy who have presumed to come from foreign Nations into 
the severall parts of the kingdom. 

That he performed severall orders and directions from the Justices 
of the Peace of Corke to the hazard of his life and at great expense 
with men, horses and arms assisting him. That he was the 
principal person constantly assisting the late High Sheriff's 
party in taking and securing the state prisoners. That at the 
last assizes held for the said county the 6th of August last your 
petitioner appeared at the perill of his life and brought to justice 
two popish priests videlicet Charles Carthey and Teige Mahoney 


for saying mass not registered who obstinately refused to take 
the oath as likewise Owen Carthy a popish school master as 
by the annexed Certificate [appears] and were convicted before 
the Right Hon. the Lord Chief Justice Foster. That your 
petitioner from his fatigue and rideing in executing said order 
has laboured under a heavy fitt of sickness to the detriment 
of his fortune having twelve children and an aged father to 
maintain. That your Petitioner hopes to bring several [priests] 
to justice they being very numerous and dayly flocking into 
the kingdom and severall of them by messadges and letters 
have made your petitioner large offers and a yearly sallery and 
retain for him the good will of their assemblyes but your petit- 
tioner has an abhorrence to them and does wholly rely on your 
Grace and Lordships countenance. That popish persons have 
spirited and trained upp their mobbs in a most violent manner 
to take your Petitioner's life. S. PORTER. 

[Endorsed] Received 8 October 1717. 

Though the foregoing is in many parts obviously knavish yet 
the hunting of priests in the County Cork was often dangerous 
work. On the 10th December, 1707, the Lord Lieutenant and 
Council issued a proclamation setting forth that Richard Huddy 
of Ballynoe, gentleman, arrested William Hennessy, one of the 
regular popish clergy ; that in consequence the previous October 
his house and goods were burnt. Their Lordships offer a reward 
of 20 and a full pardon of all crimes, murder excepted, to such 
as will give information that will lead to the capture and con- 
viction of the incendiaries. 

In the quest after the priests, the magistrates were actively 

seconded by the Protestant clergy. 

Limerick August 15 1714. 

Sir. Though this is a very improper time to trouble you about 
business of small concern yet having been imployed by the 
Lords Justices to enquire after the persons mentioned in the 
letter written by Daniel Falvey to David Fitz Gerald I send 
you the following account viz. That Daniel Falvey is a Franciscan 
Fryar formerly belonging to the abby of Irelogh [now Muckross] 
neer Kilarny in the county of Kerry, is a middle aged man, and 
lives now with Dennis Mahoney at Drommore in the Barony 
of Glanerogh in the County of Kerry. That Florence McCarthy 
formerly guardian of the said abby is a very old man and living 
now at the five mile bridge within five miles of Kilarny on the 
road to Macroom and that David Fitz Gerald was formerly a 
Friar in the abby of Askeaton in the County of Limerick but 
he removed out of that county into the County of Clare but 


where he lives in that County I cannot learn. This is all the 
information that can be given you relating to that affair by, Sir, 
To Joshua Dawson Esq. Your very humble servant 

at the Castle Dublin. THO. LIMERICK. 

From the exact particulars it is evident that his lordship was 
well served by some spy or other. His brother of Tuam had the 
imprudence of disclosing his informer to the authorities. 

May it please your Grace 

Since your departure I made it my business pursuant to your 
Order to inform myself of what your Grace left in charge with 
me and give you a speedy account which is as followeth. It is 
Certain that James Lynch Titular Arch-Bishop of Tuam is landed 
in this kingdom this last month and is sulking somewhere in 
this province but where he keeps, the priest that told me was 
not forward to tell neither did I think it convenient to be of a 
sudden too curious or pressing to know the place of his abode 
which may in time be leasurely discovered. As to the rest of 
the chief popish missionaries I can positively tell your Grace 
by no worse authors then their own Clergie they are Dr. Dermot, 
in Irish Mac Diermud, Titular Bishop of Elphin residing in the 
County of Roscommon and commonly about Clonmacnose 
where he generally and constantly ordains priests, some when 
found capable [were] actually to succeed in the mission in this 
kingdom, others to be sent into seminaries abroad, in France 
etc. The next is Timothy Ruork formerly a Franciscan friar 
of the Convent of Milick near Banahir in the County of Gallway 
now Titular Bishop of Killalagh and goeing under the name of 
Mr. Fielding. His chief residence when he travells to the Counties 
of Mayo and Slygo to officiate in these parts is at Counsellor 
Terence McDonogh whose wife is this gentleman's relative, but 
he is very zealous to keep about the Convent of Milick as much 
as possible where he generally ordains priests. One of his con- 
stant stages when travelling from Milick to the County of Mayo 
is at Mr. Francis Burke vicar generall of the Diocese of Tuam 
at Knockaneataguill near Tuam. This Mr. Burke since the Act 
of Parliament goes under the name of Mr. Staunton and his 
Colleague Mr. Dominick Lynch under the name of Mr. Deane. 
Since the death of Dr. Donelaine late Titular Bishop of Cluonfort, 
Mr. Francis Burke and Doctor Ambrose Maddin vicar generaJl 
of all of the diocese of Cluonfort parish priest of Loghreagh were 
competitors each making interest in Rome for the Bishoprick of 
Cluonfort but Doctor Maddin about December last received his 
pattents, or as they call them, the pope's Bulls and was by the 
two former Titular Bishops of Elfin and Killalagh some time 
before last Christmas at Melick consecrated Titular Bishop of 
Cluonfort. The same person assured me that Peter Creagh 


Titular Arch Bishop of Dublin who was resident in my own time 
at Strasbourg for Cardinal Fastainberg, is dead and that Dr. 
Burn of ffrancis street in Dublin succeeded him and is now 
consecrated Titular Arch Bishop of Dublin. This is the account 
that from time to time I had from men of note among them of 
the changes and succession of their Bishops particularly in this 

As to their inferior clergy there are some who in contempt of the 
law by the order of their superiors to supply the missions, do 
succeed registered priests deceased and officiate though they be 
not registered. Others [are] translated from place to place as 
it seems to the Superiors convenient, others, and these esteemed 
the most useful missioners in the Church of Rome who do not 
take uppon them the care of souls but are employed in teaching 
and catechizing generally in publick or private gentlemens 
houses as also in preaching. Of all the sorts, I know some in 
this county and particulars I shall be ready to send when your 
Grace commands me. 

I have been from time to time in company with some of their 
Cleargie in and about this time since Eaver, as they call him, 
and the houghers of cattle began their wicked designs and far 
be it from me to asperse anybody, it's with God's assistance 
what I shall never be guilty of. I do assure your Grace as many 
of the priests as I discoursed of Eaver and houghers and whom 
I on sett purpose entertained Christmas last to know from them- 
selves as well what Bishops etc. they have as how they stood 
affected or disaffected to the practice of houghing. I could 
never observe by their speech or behaviour that they disliked or 
disapproved the practice. I could never hear that any one 
among them made as much as an exhortation against it but 
on the contrary if we may judge of the inclination of all by the 
conduct of some (doubtless countenanced by others of higher 
power) your Grace with all reason will judge that they are 
deeply concerned in promoting this wicked design. One father 
Phillip Higgin who as I am credibly informed is an Augustinian 
frier and generally keeps in and about this town and registered 
as a priest in the County of Roscommon on Sunday the 3rd of 
last February at his publick mass in Killmore openly prayed for 
Eaver and his friends good success. On Tuesday the 14th of 
last February Mr. George Millar and I happened in company 
in this town with Captain Thomas Burke of Corofin, Doctor 
Lynch and father patrick Birn and we had some discourse about 
Eaver whereupon Captain Burke and Doctor Lynch told us that 
father Edmund Burke parish priest of Commor and Bellelasetuam 
the week before had a letter from Eaver and on Sunday the 10th 
preached to his congregation exhorting the rich and stock masters 
to reduce their flocks and set the lands to the poor people. Captain 
Burke and Doctor Lynch affirm they never heard him preach 


soe good a sermon in his life tyme before. Upon which father 
patrick replyed that for 100 he would not be guilty of the like 
action against the 'government, against the law and against 
conscience. If the priest had not by his passion interrupted the 
discourse we would certainly know more of the matter. Whether 
the priest did it as a politian (sic) to prevent our hearing further 
of the matter or whether it was his aversion of the doctrine I 
cannot judge. If the papists of this county should know me 
to be the author of this account to your Grace, Eaver and his 
party and many other loose and wicked men would seek my 
life. I shall be ready to observe your Grace's commands were 
it to sacrifice my life for the preservation both of church and 
government. Your most dutifull and obedient servant, 

Tuam March 3 1712-3. GEO. FOSTER. 

[Endorsed] To his Grace John Ld. Archbishop of Tuam in Dublin. 

"Eaver" was the "Captain Moonlight" of the period; the 
priests being credited with inciting and abetting the agrarian out- 
rages were pursued with special fury in the disturbed counties. 

Primate Boulter also had his intelligencers set, but they often 
played upon his bigoted credulity. They persuaded him that the 
fasting and praying of the Jubilee of 1726 had a sinister object, 
and scared his mental vision with the spectacle of "3,000 popish 
priests of all sorts" in the kingdom. They were duly rewarded. 
For instance in April, 1726, he writes to Lord Cartaret : 

The bearer is wife to Mr. Cassell : he is the person who gave from 
time to time the best accounts of the popish priests and what 
was doing amongst that party. He tells me his wife will have 
occasion to wait on your Excellency to sollicit an affair of his 
and desired I would give her a few lines to introduce her. I 
hope your Lordship will be so good as to excuse this trouble 
since it was a favour I could not well deny him. 

Priest setting was a lucrative employment but it was peculiarly 
personal, Cassell, as we learn from a subsequent letter, was in 
failing health and he wanted a pension for his wife. 

Amid however the annals of rascality two classes stand out 
in evil distinction. These were unfrocked priests and professional 
spies. While the priests who were faithful to their creed and calling 
were pursued with every penalty of the law, even death itself, 
the wretched man who was cast out from his fellows as a reproach 
and a by-word was cherished and supported at the charge too of 
the people he had scandalized. 


2 ANN, C. 7, S. 3. 

Every popish priest being approved of as a convert and received 
into the church by the archbishop or bishop of the diocese wherein 
they resided and conforming himself to the church of Ireland as 
by law established and having taken the oaths and subscribed 
the declarations in such manner as the conformable clergy of 
the said church are obliged to do, such converted priests shall 
have twenty pounds yearly during their residence in such county 
for their maintenance and till they are otherwise provided for 
subject nevertheless to suspension or deprivation of the arch- 
bishop or bishop of the diocese wherein they reside in like manner 
as the rest of the clergy of this kingdom, the said sum to be levied 
on the inhabitants of such county or town where such converted 
priests did last officiate or reside as money is levied that is charged 
by grand juries and to be paid them by equal moieties at the 
feast of the Annunciation and at the feast of St. Michael. 

And such converts shall publickly read the liturgy of the church 
of Ireland in the English or Irish tongue in such places and at 
such times as the said archbishops or bishops shall appoint. 

The salary was by a subsequent act, 8 Anne, c.. 3, increased to 
40 about ten times its present value and so enamoured was parlia- 
ment of this piece of legislation that the 19 and 20 Geo. Ill, c. 39, 
which repealed some of the worst articles of the code, re-enacted. 

Prom and after 24th June 1780 every popish priest who hath 
heretofore conformed to the protestant religion or who shall 
conform and be approved as a convert and received into the 
church by the archbishop or bishop of the diocese wherein he 
resided and officiated as a Romish priest and who shall have 
taken the oaths and subscribed the declarations at any quarter 
sessions shall have as maintenance 40 yearly to be paid by 
the treasurer of the county wherein he officiated as a popish 
priest until he shall be provided for by some ecclesiastical 
benefice or licensed curacy of the same or greater value, provided 
that such convert priest shall publickly read once a week the 
common prayer or liturgy of the church of Ireland and preach 
in the English tongue in such places and at such times as the 
archbishop or bishop of the diocese shall direct. Said 40 to 
be levied off the inhabitants of the county or town wherein such 
priest resided or officiated before conformity. 

Some of the worst outbreaks of persecution were traceable to 
the splenetic vindictiveness of degraded priests. On 7th November, 
1741, Primate McMahon wrote "from his hiding place" to Propa- 
ganda that the greatest caution had to be taken in the appoint- 
ment to parishes, that shortly before he had to fly from his usual 


shelter for "four magistrates armed with warrants were in search 
for me, instigated by an unworthy person to whom I had refused 
a parish." The Rev. John Hennessy, ex-parish priest of Doneraile 
in the County of Cork, by a story of colossal amplitude kindled 
the whole ascendancy regime into fury. Appearing before Lord 
Doneraile and John Love, the revenue collector of Mallow, 3rd 
January, 1732, he swore the following information : 

In the month of August or September 1729 he, this informant,, 
was in company with Connor Keeffe, popish bishop of Limerick,. 
Francis Lloyd, popish bishop of Killaloe, and Dr. Stones a 
Franciscan friar of the city of Dublin at the house of Teigue 
MacCarthy, popish bishop of Cork and Cloyne when the said 
Keeffe and Lloyd delivered a letter to the said MacCarthy from 
Christopher Butler, popish archbishop of Cashel, acquainting 
him that he had received a letter from the pope's internuncio 
at Brussels ; that the pope had complied with the request of 
the archbishops and bishops of Ireland and that his holiness 
had sent him an indulgence for ten years in order to raise a sum 
of money to be speedily applied to restore King James III. to 
his right and put their present majesties and all the royal family 
to the sword. 

Soon after, this informant received a letter and a copy of the pope's 
bull from his said bishop with directions strictly to obey the 
same the purport of which is as follows "That every communi- 
cant duly confessing and receiving upon the patron days of 
every respective parish and any Sunday from the 1st of May 
to September, having repeated the Lord's prayer five times and 
the Creed once, and paying two pence each time, was to have 
a plenary indulgence for his sins ; all approved confessors had 
full power to absolve in all cases ; with intent that God would 
speedily place King James III. on the throne of England." 
That the money so raised from every parish, together with 5' 
from every parish priest was to be paid to the bishop of each 
diocese ; who swore said priests to a true account of what money 
they collected by virtue of the said bull. 

As it happened the papers of a Cork solicitor named Nagle,. 
seized at the same time, gave evidence of a collection made to 
oppose certain anti-Catholic legislation proposed in Parliament. 
This was regarded as fully corroborative of the priest's story. A. 
committee of the House of Commons was appointed to examine 
into the affair, and they reported inter alia. 

Timothy McCarthy, Timothy O'Brien and Richard Walsh have 
taken upon them to exercise in the county of Cork a popish 


ecclesiastical jurisdiction ; and we have great reason to believe 
from Hennessy's examination the same is practiced in every 
other part of Munster in defiance of the laws of the land and 
to the great hazard of the peace of this kingdom. 

The Commons therefore 

Resolved that it appears that under colour of opposing heads of 
bills brought into parliament great sums of money have been 
collected and raised and a fund established highly detrimental 
to the protestant interest of this kingdom and of imminent 
danger to the present happy establishment. 

Resolved that there is a popish ecclesiastical jurisdiction exercised 
in this kingdom by popish archbishops, bishops and vicars 
general in open violation of the laws of the land. 

Resolved that an humble address be presented to his grace the 
lord lieutenant, to issue his proclamation to all magistrates to 

. put the laws against popery in execution. 

His Grace accordingly in 1733 issued a new proclamation, 
and parliament set to work afresh on bills to prevent the further 
growth of popery. 

In the descending scale we come now to the professional priest- 
catcher. Country gentlemen except when labouring under great 
political excitement or when religious bigotry obscured their 
judgment, however desirous they might be to rid the country of 
priests, were reluctant to harass their Catholic neighbours by 
inquisitions under the Act, 8 Anne. Hence the discovering and 
prosecuting of priests was carried on in large part by men who 
travelled the country for that purpose and were hired by the 
grand juries or the Dublin executive. Pursued by the execrations 
of the people, traditions of these men still live, and there are few 
localities that do not preserve the memory of some Shawn na 
Thaggart. In his "Diocese of Meath" Father Cogan tells many 
stories of the Pilots, Barkers, and others. The historian of Limerick 
relates how when a notorious priest catcher was buried, his neigh- 
bours had cut on the back of his tombstone 

God is pleased when man doth cease to sin 
The devil is pleased when he a soul doth win 
Mankind are pleased whene'er a villain dies 
Now all are pleased for here Jack Cusack lies. 

The priest catcher added a new terror to the code. Dr. Hugh 
MacMahon for a long time one of the two bishops in the north, 


gives in a letter to Propaganda a graphic picture of the situation 

When our priests were confronted with greater dangers and were 
mercilessly pursued by government, some in order to prevent 
being identified by any in the congregation celebrated mass with 
veiled faces, others again shut themselves into a closet with 
the mass server alone and apertures were made or a small hole 
by means of which the people outside could hear the voice of 
the celebrant but could not recognise it, or at all events could 
not see him. And the mercy of God was only manifested the 
more, for as the persecution increased the fervour of the people 
increased also. Not uncommonly one would come across men 
and women with their hands joined in prayer having got the 
signal that mass was begun and thus they united themselves 
in spirit with those who afar off were praying on bended knees 
although they could not see the priest. It often happened to 
myself when saying mass by night that not a soul was present 
except the man of the house and his wife not even the children, 
for they could not be trusted with the secret. There was a 
penalty of 30 and a year's imprisonment on any who permitted 
mass to be said in his house or anywhere on his premises (ss). 

A few of the priest catchers carried on their operations under 
the patronage and direction of the Privy Council itself. To this 
circumstance we are indebted for instructive details which are 
not obtainable of the class generally. One of the most remarkable 
was Garcia, said by some to be a Spaniard by others a Portuguese 
Jew. Arriving in Dublin early in 1717 he, by his acquaintance 
with Catholic ritual abroad, easily found means of ingratiating 
himself with the clergy there, and actually passed for a priest with 
the archbishop himself. Owing to the fierce persecution, the 
status of the archbishop was disclosed to as few as possible, and 
apparently Garcia did not learn it. However this may be, when 
the haul was made Dr. Byrne escaped. But the capture included 
the provincial of the Dominicans, two Jesuits, one Franciscan, 
and three secular priests. Having given this proof of his zeal for 
the Protestant interest, the Dublin Grand Jury made him a special 
grant of 100 and the executive assigned him apartments in the 
Castle. From there he addressed a series of petitions curiously 
interesting as a study in religious rascality. Being now an approved 
Protestant he first made application to Wake, archbishop of 

(ss) Spicilegiura Ossoriense II, 973. 


Canterbury. Synge of Tuam being consulted wrote 6th March, 

1720, to his Grace : 

Upon the receipt of your Graces letter I sent for Garcia and told 
him what your Grace was pleased to direct me. The man was 
a Romish priest either in Spain or Portugal (I do not well re- 
member which) from whence he made his escape for fear of the 
Inquisition, having (as it is said) been known to speak with some 
freedom concerning some points of the Romish faith. It is 
above two years since he came by way of England as I have 
been told into this kingdom where for above half a year he 
continued to act as a priest until being further convinced he 
wholly renounced the Church of Rome, and for some service 
which he has done in discovering divers of the Romish clergy 
who were convicted upon his evidence, he has received some 
reward from the Government with liberty to lodge in the Castle 
of Dublin to protect him from the Insults of the Papists. 

Wake somehow was npt quite assured of his petitioner, Garcia 
therefore had to fall back upon his former patrons. 

To their Excellencies the Lords Justices and the Lords of his 
Majesty's Privy Council. 

The humble Petition of John Garcia a converted popish priest. 

Sheweth That your Petitioner was a popish priest and that he made 
his publicke recantation in the church of Ireland and took the 
oaths in the King's Bench about three years ago. 

That the Irish papists did severall times endeavour to destroy 
your Petitioner by secret practices and open violence so that 
your Petitioner is in perfect fear of his life Seeing himself abused 
and sometimes assaulted in the streets by papists or persons 
disaffected to his Majesty. 

That your said Petitioner knows no other reason of his being so 
abused but because he is become a Protestant and has informed 
against and has convicted by due course of law six Irish popish 
priests and three nuns. That the popish clergy being incensed 
against your Petitioner for doing the duty of a true Protestant 
and faithfull subject did write to Spaine against him and have 
been the occasion of your Petitioner's mother and relatives 
having suffered persecution and that his own picture was burnt 
by sentence of the Inquisition who would burn him alsoe if he 
should fall into their unmercifull hands. So that your Petitioner 
is deprived of the yearly assistance he received from his said 

That his Grace the Duke of Bolton being sensible of the good 
services done by your Petitioner to the Government and the 
Protestant religion in discovering and prosecuting the enemies 
of both at a very criticall juncture, did promise to settle on your 
Petitioner a pension of 50 per annum for his and his family 


subsistence and your Petitioner hopes that his Excellency my 
Lord Chancellor will remember the truth of this last allegation. 

That the said pension was not settled on your Petitioner who is 
actually in greate want and poverty with his wife and two 
children, and in danger of being arrested by those he was forced 
to borrow from to prevent starving. J. GARCIA. 

[Endorsed] That petition be referred to a Committee of the whole 
Board to report 1 July 1720. 

The Board was not very impressed, for a miserable 15 was 
granted and not a word of the promised pension. On the llth 
October following he had therefore to refresh their memories by 
going over the whole ground again, adding the touching particular : 

He is assaulted in the Castle and the streets by which reason your 
Petitioner has lost the libertie of walking the streets both Sundays 
and week days and is forced to keep his room like a prisoner 
for the occasion of his great persecution. 

A committee consisting of Synge, Protestant archbishop of 
Tuam, Evans, bishop of Meath, Benjamin Parry and James Tynte 
was appointed to consider the petition ; they reported 19th October 
that they examined Garcia on oath and found that he became a 
Protestant in November, 1717. In or about the year 1718 he 
received from the Lords Justices the sum of 10. In the same 
year he received from the Privy Council 50. In or about 1719 
he received from the Lord Lieutenant 20, and from the Lords 
Justices 30. In or about 1720 he received from the Lords Justices 
15. Total 125. 

The Grand Jury of the City of Dublin presented a sum of 
100 for the services he had done but he knows not, he says, how 
much he got having paid a good part in fees and interest on money 
he had borrowed. But he hardly thinks 80 came to him. The 
Committee recommended him for relief and so we hear no more of 
him until the following year. On 4th May, 1721 : 

Your Excellency and Lordships may see that if he troubles with 
frequent petitions it is not bicause he is greedy or extravagent 
in his expenses but bicause he is really poor and unfortunate. 
It is more than three years since it pleased God to call your 
Petitioner into the Kingdom of Light. He is become the object 
of the rage and hatred of all papists as also of many who call 
themselves Protestants. He is forced to keep his chamber and 
never go out of the Castle except Sundays that he repair to church. 


That perpetual confinement and the want of necessaryes for 
life destroys his health. His mother being informed of your 
Petitioner's conversion by means of the Irish papists that live 
in Cadiz, is so far from helping him that she would joyn with 
the Inquisition to burn him alive and in so doing she would 
believe to do God service. Your Petitioner avers that most of 
the money he has received has been laid out in repairing and 
furnishing his room and in the paying of charges of two fitts of 
sickness. When the late Lord Lieutenant came last, your 
Petitioner was putt in a garrett that had been till then a passage 
only, he was forced to make severall partitions at his own cost, 
he is actually without bread for himself and his poor family 
and is but just risen out of a purple feavor. J. GARCIA. 

This produced the desired effect but the following year, 1722, 
he was again battering the Lords Justices. On 19th March he 
pleaded that the long promised pension might be granted him 
or if not that he might be presented to a church living. Later in 
the year he made a renewed attack and the Lords Justices forwarded 
his memoir to the Duke of Bolton, Lord Lieutenant, then in Eng- 
land. Bolton replied on the 27th November that he would recom- 
mend the case to Lord Carteret, the Secretary. By this time 
everyone was tired of the wretched beggar. His last petition to 
be found in the Irish papers is dated 15th February, 1723, when 
he asks for money to take him to London. It was gladly given, 
for some time before the Lords Justices "had recommended him 
to be one of the missionaries to be sent to Minorca." Whether he 
ever went to Minorca is more than doubtful. 

But Garcia was integrity itself compared to Tyrrell. Of this 
egregious blackguard it may be said that a study of his career 
helps one better to realise the penal times than any number of 
official reports or reasoned documents. That he should be taken 
up by chief governors and Protestant bishops entrusted with 
confidential missions provided with escorts -armed with man- 
dates to magistrates welcomed in fine and accredited as a deliverer 
of Protestantism is crucial if melancholy evidence of the blind, 
insensate passions of the time. It would seem that in the campaign 
against the priests there were no methods too vile, no instruments 
too foul. Edward Tyrrell belonged to the declasse gentry, and to 
judge from his letters received a fair education. It served him 
however to little purpose, for our first acquaintance with him is 


in a letter of his father-in-law Roderick O 'Flaherty of Park, Co. 
Galway, to Samuel Molyneux. In this which is dated August, 
1708, the distressed condition of Tyrrell is set forth and Molyneux 
is asked to use his influence to obtain for him "the place of a boat- 
man in her Majesty's boat in Gallway," the necessary qualification 
being added that Tyrrell was a Protestant. Failing to obtain the 
tide-waitership we find him a year and-a-half later entitling him- 
self to public employment by disclosing to their lordships of the 
Privy Council a fearsome story of Romish conspiracy. The matter 
was considered of such urgency that he was sent over to London. 
Not content with exploiting the government at home he utilized 
all friends of the happy constitution on the way. Some papers in 
the London Record Office enable us to trace the proceedings. 
Arriving in Chester 5th January, 1710, he acquainted Governor 
Brook of important matters he had to reveal to government. 
Brook referred him to Comberback, the City Recorder, who 
furnished him with a letter of introduction to Lord Cholmondeley 
in London. We next hear of him in Coventry, where he penned 
the characteristic epistle : 

Honoured Sir Though a stranger I made bould to trust you with 
those following lines. That I have left Dublin the 4th of this 
instant in Womens aparell and was driven in to Blew Morris 
[Beaumaris] in Wales. That I have come out of Ireland in 
order to make a full discovery to the Queen and Parliament 
of Great Britain in Relation of a Private Rebellion Intended 
and upon footing now in our kingdom and a great number of 
disaffected persons to our Government hath lately landed in the 
Remoat parts of our kingdom. They are harboured and enter- 
tained and supported by men of very great Interest and Quality 
in our Country prodestands as well as papists. Sir, this is 
nothing of what service I can doe to our Queen and Government 
when I wend to London. 

I desire the favour of you as you are a Member of Parliament for 
this town where I now am at present that you may please to 
order the Mayor of this city to manage some way to send me 
safe to St. James or else to your lodgings in London. Sir with- 
out your directions I dare not travell further than this citty of 
Coventry. I fear there is some evil design intended against 
me upon the Road. Leaving you the great manadgement and 
direction in this present affair. I rest your Honors humble 


Your answer by the next post I will expect. You may please 
direct yours for me at the Signe of the Coach and horses in 
Coventry. Dated the 14th of January 1709-10. 

To Edward Hopkins, Esq. Member of Parliament at his lodgings 
in London. In haste. 

Hopkins at once sent this letter to the proper quarter and 
the saviour of his country was safely transmitted to London. 
Here Secretary Boyle instructed him to draw up a memoir to be 
laid before the Queen in Council. Tyrrell replies on January 25th 
that he has drawn up the memoir but adds 

I am ready to attend your Honor as soon as you shall think ntt 
though not in a condition, for want of cloathes and humbly beggs 
your Honor to grant me some present relief e in order to cover 
my nakedness. 

The next day he forwarded the memoir with the rest of the 
papers to be laid before the. Queen and Council. He has framed it, 
he writes, in accordance with Mr. Atkinson's directions, and concludes 
by begging Secretary Boyle "a smile of his favours." The English 
Council however, who had covered the continent with a network 
of spies, appraised Tyrrell's information at its true value, and so, 
for six weeks we hear no more of him. By that time he had to 
give particulars of the personnel of the conspiracy. 

He knows Edmund Kennedy the Son of Sir Richard Kennedy 
late of the County of Dublin, baronet. The said Edmund 
Kennedy goes under the name of Joseph Reeves. He is a frier 
of the Order of St. Francis and titular Bishop of Dublin. The 
said Edmund goes disguised in a lay habit with a sword by his 
side and daily frequents various public places. This Informant 
saw the said Kennedy in Ireland in July last disguised as one 
Jones amongst the Romish clergy. March 21, 1710. 

The English Council remonstrated with the Irish Lords Justices 
for permitting priests to remain in the country and swagger about 
public places wearing swords. Having no further use of Tyrrell 
they sent him back to Ireland, doubtless with ample rewards. His 
next public appearance was when four months later he was convicted 
at the Queen's Bench in Dublin of bigamy. Yet, will it be believed 
that before the end of the year we find this convicted felon in the 
pay of the Privy Council and on intimate relations with Secretary 
Dawson. But henceforward it is best to let him tell his own story. 



The Examinacon of Edward Tyrrell taken before the honourable 
Richard Nuttley, Esq. one of her Maiesties justices of the Court 
of Queen's Bench in Ireland the 6th day of March 1711-2. 

Who being duly sworn and examined saith that he having obtained 
a pass from Mr. Secretary Dawson bearing date the 9th of Decem- 
ber 1710 whereby he was permitted by the name of Edward 
fritz Gerald alias Tyrrell to goe from Dublin to London he soon 
after left this city and went to London where in the space of 
about fifteen days he arrived on foot without about two or three 
pounds in his pockett and after he had stayed in London about 
ten days where he lodged in the house of one Spring a Gold- 
smith near St. Martin's lane he went by water down to Harrige 
[Harwich] and after he had stayed there about two days he went 
in a Collier to Lassan Gant where he arrived in about three 
days and from thence he went on foot to Gant where he staid 
about eight days where he mett with one ffather Lynch with 
whom he had been formerly acquainted. That this Examinat 
often "heard the said Lynch express his expectation that the 
Pretender would come home again that the high church and 
low church could not agree, by that means the Pretender would 
be brought home again ; that he had acquaintance with no 
other persons in Gant and that while he continued there he passed 
by the name of Tyrrell ; that from Gant he went to Louvain 
and there as soon as he came, enquired his way to the Irish 
Colledge and when he came to it he enquired for the Guardian 
who came to him and this Examinat passed to him for Edward 
fflaherty the son of Roger fflaherty of parke in the County of 
Gallway and saith that the said Roger has a son whose name 
is Edward and is now at home with his father as this Examinat 
believes. This Examinat saith that he found in the said Colledge 
one fnorence McNemara the son of Counsellor McNemara of 
near Killaloe in the County of Clare a middle sized young man 
about the age of twenty two year and who was a novice in that 
Colledge of about half a year standing. That this Examinat 
was very well acquainted with the said young man for that the 
Examinat was about two year ago at his father's house and there 
he saw the said young man at home with his father. The said 
young man told this Examinat that he and his elder brother were 
sent by their father from Ireland about two year agoe and that 
they had with them about 100 pound and that the elder brother 
went to St. Germans to the Pretender. This Examinat further 
saith that while he was at Louvain one James Ternin a member 
of the said Colledge and a Regular of the Order of St. Francis 
and who he had often seen officiate in the church there was ordered 
to come into Ireland by the Superior of the franciscan order who 
lives in Paris. That during this Examinat 's stay there he 
saw the said ffather Ternin after he had thrown off his habit 
in Lay man's Cloaths and the said Ternin told this Examinat 


he was to goe to Dublin to ffather Edmund Byrne Titular Arch 
Bishop of Dublin; the said ffather Ternin, ffather Dillon and 
severall others told this Examinat about the time that the 
Pretender was to land in Scotland the said ffather Byrne was 
by virtue of some order sent by the Pope to the said ffather 
Dillon and by him sent to Ireland to one Rourk who is brother 
in law to Councellor McDonogh and lives in his house in the 
County of Roscommon and that Owen McDermod and the said 
Rourk were likewise made Bishops the same time by virtue of 
the said order and this Examinat further saith that he saw in 
the Colledge belonging to the order of St. Dominick in Louvain 
one Edward McDermod son to Bryan McDermod of the County 
of Roscommon whom this Examinat very well knew before he 
left this kingdom and is now a novice belonging to the said Order 
and this Examinat further saith that one McMahan son to 
Collado McMahan of the County of Monaghan was some time 
in the latter end of the last harvest as this Examinat was informed 
by the aforesaid ffather Dillon was likewise sent on here as 
Bishop of Cloher who as this Examinat was informed lived for 
some years near Leven [Louvain] and had 2000 guilders per 
annum as being the first Doctor of a Colledge in that place. 
And this Examinat further saith that Lieutenant Edward 
ffloherty who was in Collonel Denys [Devenish] Regiment that 
was raised in Ireland for the service of King Charles of Spaine 
deserted the said service and went over with seventy of the 
men of that Regiment to the french King's service and is since 
as this Examinat is informed returned to Ireland and is joyned 
his brother David, a-nd the said Edward ffloherty has brought a 
party of disaffected persons into this kingdom in order to raise 
a rebellion to whom a great number has since adhered and as 
this Examinat is credibly informed are the people that hough 
the cattle now in Conaght and this Examinat further saith 
that he is very well acquainted with Captain Denis Floherty 
and his brother Edward and believes that they were sent with 
some men on purpose to raise a rebellion in this kingdom by what 
he heard at the severall convents he had been att in fflanders ; 
that some time in the last winter this Examinat left Louvain 
having there and in other places got about five pounds to loan 
his charges to Ireland and soon after took shipping at Haiesluce 
in the Dolphin packet boat and in about four and twenty hours 
he landed at Harrige from whence this Examinat prosecuted his 
journey on foot till he came to parck Gate where this Examinat 
took shipping in a Chester ship and landed at Ring's End about 
ten weeks agoe from whence this Examinat went to Hoffaughroe 
near Bray where this Examinat has since continued until brought 
to Tirone by Collonel Edwards. 
And further this Examinat saith not 

Jurat 6 die Mart [1712] EDWARD TYRRELL. 

coram me R. NUTLEY. 


In the following deposition he gives some particulars sup- 
plementary of the foregoing account : 


The Examination of Edward Tyrrell formerly of Park in the County 
of Gallway an inhabitant, who being sworn saith : 

That by virtue of a pass (dated the 9th day of December 1710 
and signed by Joshua Dawson then Secretary to the Lords 
Justices) he went from this kingdom for England and thence 
for fflanders pursuant to directions from the Lords Justices 
(from whom he received as a reward the sum of ten pounds) 
and upon his comeing there he this Deponent made it his business 
to goe to the Irish Cloysters and the English Colledges in Flanders 
aforesaid and past there as a son of Roger Flaherty of Parke 
in the County of Gallway, Gentleman, who was very much 
esteemed in those Cloysters and Colledges and after being some 
tyme there he this Deponent found that the whole management 
of the heads of those Cloysters and Colledges tended to the 
bringing in of the Pretender into the kingdom of Great Brettagne ; 
and to forward the intreige they declared they had sent several 
Popish Bishopps into Ireland in order to manage that design 
and to incense the Popish inhabitants of that kingdom to a 
rebellion in order to promote popery and roote out the Established 
Religion of the Church of England ; and the names of the Popish 
Bishopps who were sent over into Ireland being first sent from 
Flanders to Rome where they were made Bishops (according to 
this Deponent's information) and thence sent for the kingdom 
of Ireland, whose names according to the said information is 
(sic) as follows viz. John McMoghan Titular Arch Bishopp of 
Clogher, Bryan Fitzgerald, Bishop of Elphin, Owen McDermott, 
Bishop of Conrah [Achonry] near Elphin aforesaid Major Mac- 
dounell [struck out] and one Edmund Byrne Bishop of Dublin 
the last of which he ordained clergy within these three weeks 
last past being informed thereof by ffather John Talbott parish 
priest of Connaght in the County of Dublin on Saturday last 
and that he had one of the said new ordained clergy as a curate 
to himself and his name being [blank] Meghten but this Deponent 
could not find out his Christian name. This Deponent further 
saith that about October last landing in England he found the 
Duke of Ormond was in Ireland and thereupon he made the 
best of his way for Ireland and upon his landing which was 
about the beginning of December last he was taken so ill with 
a pleurisy and ague that he was not able to make his application 
to the Government who employed him in order to make the 
above discovery but was by his indisposition forced down to 
Passaroe in the County of Wicklow aforesaid in order to recover 
his health and as soon as he was able to stirr forth he this De- 
ponent did apply himself to the next Justice of Peace (being 


Richard Edwards of Old Court Esq.) and gave him in the 
Examinacon as before recited. This Deponent further saith 
that some yeares agoe there was a regiment raised in Ireland 
for the service of the King of Spain whereof one Devonish was 
Collonel, one Kennedy of Dublin was Lieutenant Collonel and 
among the rest of the officers one Edmund Flogherty was Lieuten- 
ant which Edmund deserted the service and went over with 
sixty of the men of said Regiment or thereabouts and entered 
himself and men in the French King's service and as this Depon- 
ent is informed, the said Lieutenant Flaherty is now returned 
for Ireland and has joyned his brother Donnell Flaherty (who 
brought a party of disaffected persons into this kingdom in order 
to raise a rebellion to which a great number has since adhered) 
and as this Deponent is credibly informed he committed great 
outrages. This Deponent further saith that he is very well 
acquainted with both Captain Donnell Flaherty and his brother 
Edmund and their whole family as well as the whole country 
where they lived and believes that the said Captain and his 
brother were both sent with some men on purpose (by what 
this Deponent heard before he left Flanders) to raise a rebellion 
in the kingdom of Ireland. This Deponent further saith that 
several persons of the Popish religion has (sic) sent over their 
sons to be educated in the popish religion beyond the seas con- 
trary to the Act of Parliament for restraining of them, viz. 
Councellor Mcnemara near Killaloe in the County of Clare sent 
over two sons, one being at St. Germains and the other a fryer 
att Louvain in Flanders and not sent thither above eighteen 
months agoe. One Bryan McDemott of the County of Ros- 
common sent his son to Louvain about a year agoe who was 
made a fryer ere this Deponent left that place and further saith 

Capt. coram me 4 die Martii apud Old Court 1711-2. 


During the year 1712 Tyrrell commissioned by the authorities 
made several expeditions through the country in search of priests. 
Many particulars will be narrated in future chapters ; for the 
present it is enough to say that in December of that year he, under 
the alias of Edward Moore, went through the form of marriage 
for the fourth (or fifth) time and was finally entrapped. Some of 
the numerous petitions he sent from prison set forth in detail his 
services to government. 

To their Excellencies the Lords Justices in Council. 


Imprimis. In the month of August last in pursuance of a Warrant 
from the Lord Chief Justice Cox he had taken Philip Reilly of 


the Order of St. Dominick a popish priest who kept the convent 
of that function with all his papers, vestments and severall 
letters from France, harboured and supported by one Mr. Taafe 
where he was taken within three miles of Dundalk whence he 
was committed in the County of Louth. Witness to the truth 
hereof James Lee Esq. Justice of the Peace who lives within a 
mile of Mr. Taafe where the said Reilly was taken. 

2ndly I did take in August last one Terence Conway a popish friar 
that went up and down the kingdom as a spy from the Popish 
bishops manageing their affaires. He was committed to the 
Gaol of Dundalk in the County of Louth by James Tisdall Esq. 
and John Barren Esq. One Tady Kelly upon a summons of 
John Barron Esq. made Oath before the said Barron Esq. that 
the said Conway offered and said Mass in the said Kelly's house 
in the town of Ardee. John Barron bound said Kelly to prosecute, 
the said Terence Conway att the next Assizes. 

3rdly I took one Patrick Markey a young popish priest of the 
town of glassnistle in the County of Louth and delivered him 
to the guard that went along with me out of the town of Ardee 
by John Barron Esq. The above Philip Reilly and Terence- 
Conway were taken by the assistance of the Guard of Ardee. 

41y I took in the month of November last one Patrick Downin a 
popish Bishop with all his books, papers and vestments of a 
considerable value, he goes under the name of Carolan and 
severall other names. He was committed to the Gaol of Phillips- 
town in the Kings County by John Moor Esq. and James Ford 
Esq. Some days before he was taken he ordained nine young 
men as popish priests. Severall were summoned as witnesses 
who did declare upon Oath that they had seen the said Patrick 
Downin severall times officiate in the parish where he was taken 
and elsewhere in the King's County though not registered. 

Sly I did apprehend Father John Downin a young popish priest 
with his letters of ordination signed by the Titular Popish Bishop 
of Dublin by name Edward Burn, he was committed to the Gaol 
of Phillipstown by John Moor and James Ford Esquires, Mr. 
Ward, Mr. McManus, Mr. Cahill, Dr. Ivory and others made 
oath against him that they saw him say mass in the parish 
where he was taken and elsewhere in that county though not 

61y I did apprehend Redmund Renehan a young popish priest 
and delivered him to Mr. Goldsberry the High Constable and 
the rest of the Guard by virtue of a warrant signed by Mr. Moor 
and Mr. Forde. Upon searching of him there were severall 
papers found in his custody and an acquittance of rent signed 
by Mr. Lestran who told me he knew the said Renehan to be a 
popish priest and not registered. 

71y I had taken in the beginning of Februarjr last in the Citty of 
Corke one Patrick Carthy and William Hennessy two popish 


priests late come from France with all the vestments, books 
and papers relating to their function. I had taken elsewhere 
hidden in a garrett a fine library of books lately landed directed 
to the Bishop who lyves now in Phillips Town. 

Sly I had taken at the same time being in the beginning of last 
month two young priests newly ordained reddy to goe for France 
with their papers and letters by name Slynes, nephews to the 
Popish Bishop of Corke who was lately transported out of Corke 
by law. They were committed by the Mayor of Corke to the 

91y I had seized upon in the Citty of Corke in the beginning of 
February last severall admirable rich vestments belonging to a 
Bishop with a mitre and other rich robes belonging to that 
function. In short the pope of Rome could not have richer 
wearing of that sort ; they were delivered to the Maj^or of Corke. 

I Edward Tyrrell have been bound over in five hundred pounds 
bond to be in Cork the next assizes to prosecute these affairs. 
I have been bound over by the Justices of Peace to be at the 
next Assizes at Phillips Town. I am able to do more service 
than is mentioned in this case notwithstanding I am confined 
by the management and spite of popery who spares no money 
to stifle my prosecution. I do actually know at this present 
time where Burn the Titular Bishop and Bourke who were 
lately in the Government's proclamation where they now lodge 
and has (sic) their papers. I have sent two in private these 
severall days past after 'em in order to acquaint the Government 
notwithstanding that I am afraid every minute in this house 
to be destroyed by the management of the popish clergy and 
other convicted persons that do here reside. Even the very 
papishes come out of the street into the Gaol to abuse me in 
my confinement. I leave it to the Great God what misery I 
am in for serving her Majesty's government. I lye under no 
crime but what may be bailed by law according to the opinion 
of the recorder and others. If I be not bailed I should be very 
glad that your Excellency would give an order to have me trans- 
mitted as a prisoner as an evidence for the Queen to Phillips 
Town and Corke that all those prosecutions ma}'- not be stifled 
by the management of popery. EDWARD TYRRELL. 

Attached to the foregoing is a warrant from Justice Nutley 
to J. Sanders, keeper of Newgate Gaol, to take into custody the 
body of Edward Tyrrell charged with feloniously marrying a second 
wife the first being alive. It is dated 23rd February, 1712-3, 
Nutley would appear to have formed a poor opinion of Tyrrell. 
A previous petition to the Council had been referred to him. In 
. this Tyrrell simply bluffed. He was a witness for the Queen, 


prevented from rendering service" by the manadgment of Poppery. " 
"It is only a trick putt upon him" and so forth. Nutley was not 
convinced ; his report runs : 

I humbly inform your Excellency that the petitioner stands in- 
dicted before me on Oath, for that he having a former wife 
living did in December last marry one Jane Moore. This crime 
is a felony, but it is certified to me by the Clerk of the Crown 
that the Petitioner was in Trinity Term 1710 tryed in her 
Maiesties Court of Queen's Bench for Bigamy and found guilty 
and burnt in the hand. So that it is past all doubt that he is 
not bailable by law. This is humbly submitted to your Ex- 
cellency this 20th day of february 1712-3. R. NUTLEY. 

In a further petition Tyrrell again set forth his services with 
some variations. 

To their Excellencies the Lords Justices and Council. 
The humble petition of Edward Tyrrell. 

Sheweth That your Petitioner was at the Assizes at Phillipstown 
in order to Prosecute the Popish clergy whom your Petitioner 
apprehended by the assistance of John Moore Esq. and other 
Justices of Peace of the King's County. The Hon. Sir Richard 
Levin and Mr. Souldan can inform your Excellencies and Council 
of what has past in Phillipstown and that notwithstanding that 
Counsellor Thomas Daly and severall other lawyers were feed 
against your Petitioner's said just cause. 

Sheweth That your Petitioner was likewise at Cork where he 
has successfully prosecuted one Patrick Carthy and William 
Hennessy two popish priests lately come from forreigne countreys 
who being found guilty and received sentence according. All 
which the Hon. Lord Chief Baron Rochford and Mr. Justice 
Nuttly can justifie besides the severall tranckes of popish books 
whereof your Petitioner did already inform your Excellencies 
were produced with severall rich vestments before the said 
justices. That your Petitioner has been for severall hours 
together examined before the Grand Juries of the County and 
City of Cork when the said Grand Juries found severall other 
indictments against other disaffected persons whereof your 
Petitioner gave the said Grand Juries an account. All this 
your Petitioner has done in her Maiesties behalf. Notwith- 
standing that Counsellor Patrick French of Dublin and Councellor 
French of Cork and Counsellor Charter with severall other 
Lawyers were feed against your Petitioner in order to stifle your 
Excellencye's Petitioner's evidence for her Maiestie. 

Sheweth That your Petitioner in his journey from Phillipstown to 
Cork apprehended one Richard fitzPatrick a popish priest lately 
come from France whom your Petitioner brought before two 


Justices of Peace by the assistance of Mr. Haney, the messanger, 
and the rest of the Guard that were to conduct your Petitioner 
by order of the Government. That the said Fitz Patrick was 
committed to the Gaol of Clonmell by the said Justices of the 
Peace when your Petitioner in his said journey from Cork to 
Dublin prosecuted the said Fitz Patrick at the assizes before 
the Hon. Francis Barnard, Justice of the same, and the said 
Fitz Patrick was found guilty and accordingly received sentence. 
There was found in the said Fitz Patrick's pockett a case full 
of papers and letters which your Petitioner gave into the custody 
of the said Haney to be delivered to your Excellencies. Your 
Petitioner was for severall hours examined before the Grand 
Jury of the County of Tipperary in Clonmell aforesaid when your 
Petitioner gave severall examinations against other disaffected 
persons. The Grand Jury having found all the Bills ordered 
your said Petitioner to appear before your Excellencies in Council 
for further examination about some- matters of great moment 
not fitt to be inserted here. Your Petitioner will further satisfie 
your Excellencies and lay before you severall matters of such 
weight and moment which shall be a wonderfull satisfaction to 
the whole Council and very much tend to the future safetie and 
welfare of her Maj esty and all her good sub]' ects. Your Petitioner 
would even now open the same but that he is sensible that some 
disaffected persons were of opinion that your Petitioner's late 
good services were but shams or lies. Your Petitioner is bound 
over in severall sums of money to appear at the severall places 
aforesaid the next assize in order to prosecute severall other 

Sheweth That by the Invention and malice of severall Irish papists 
he is accused at present of marrying of two women and wrong- 
fully impeached, and does protest upon the faith of a Christian 
that in the course of his life he had no manner of dealing with 
his prosecutor, but your Petitioner is informed that the said 
Irish papists as well clergy as laity all over the kingdom do 
unanimously joyne together towards his down fall and all purely 
to prevent your Petitioner's prosecution at Corke, Clonmell, 
Philipstown and other parts of the kingdom. The said Irish 
papists will infallibly keep your Petitioner confined all the days 
of his life on pretence of some wicked practice or other if not 
prevented by your Excellencies. The premises considered may 
it please your Excellencies to act as much in your Petitioners 
behalf to my Lord Chief Justice Cox that your Petitioner may be 
capable to putt his intended good services into execution. 


By this time, however, their Excellencies had exploited their 
humble petitioner. Constantine Phipps, lord chancellor, and Synge 
archbishop of Tuam, lords justices, wrote to Secretary Southwell : 


Dublin Castle 19 February 1713 

We have received your letter of the 10th and are not surprised 
that false representations of what passes in remote parts of this 
kingdom are transmitted into England. Some in this town are 
particularly zealous to charge the government with the neglect 
and mismanagements of the civil magistrates. Regarding the 
charges as to the apprehension of danger from the Papists at 
this time more than any other we cannot imagine whence it 
should proceed. If they are grown more insolent of late the 
Justices of the Peace and the Gentlemen of the Country are 
the persons who encourage them for if they did their duty to 
the Queen and Country in putting the laws in execution against 
the priests and persons who carry arms without license as they 
often have been requested to do by express commands from the 
Government signified in several proclamations, it would soon 
appear how little reason we had to apprehend danger. It is 
well known that notwithstanding all the care the government 
have taken that there is a generall neglect in the civil magistrates 
everywhere in putting the laws in execution against papists. 
Whether many priests are come into this kingdom lately or not 
we cannot tell ; the only information we ever had of that kind 
was from Edward Tyrrell to whose credit you are no stranger 
and though he has often told us both priests and officers are 
lately come from France into Ireland yet we could never get 
the fact proved by any other testimony than his own though 
we have done all in our power to encourage him in his discoverys 
and to endeavour upon his information to seize and apprehend 
such priests and officers. But we never could find any other 
effect from his service than to get money from us and you know 
he has given the very same information to some former govern- 
ments. If the priests say mass publickly and afterwards put 
on their swords to dare the country, are not the civil magistrates 
only to blame ? 

Accordingly Tyrrell had to go forward for trial and confront 
as best he could the several wives he had married. Henceforward 
his petitions are devoted not to the recital of his national services, 
but for the most part to blackening the character of these women. 
In one of them he states " the chief e of your petitioner's prosecutors 
is one Margrett Clerk a common, lewd, debauched and disorderly 
woman," and that he can prove this by several witnesses. And 
he goes on the say that she is bribed to appear against him, having 
received "severall sumes of money and severall suits of Cloaths" 
that she was severall times in the Bridewell but is now the wife 
of one John Begley a blacksmith. In another petition he tries 


to show that the charge made against him by Jane Moore was 
trumped up by the papists, and an affidavit for the purpose was 
enclosed. In this, Mary, wife of William Moore of Bridge Street, 
Dublin, swore that her daughter Jane was married to a man who 
went by the name of Edward Moore but since known by the name 
of Edward Tyrrell. One Mrs. Judge, niece of Mr. Lewis Pierse, 
advised Mrs. Moore to go to her uncle Pierse and that he would 
give her daughter 50 to prosecute Tyrrell. Pierse and an attorney 
named Burke brought her and her daughter to Judge Nutley and 
a warrant was issued for Tyrrell who was arrested about six weeks 
or two months later. A week before the trial was to come off 
Pierse and Burke came to deponent and threatened her they would 
make her fly the country and her daughter rott in gaol unless she 
prosecuted. Immediately before the trial Tyrrell again petitioned 
the executive for a postponement on the ground that his witnesses 
were out of town. He asks that their Excellencies would read 
Mr. Shouldun's report on his behaviour at the several assizes. 
So far from being enriched he has been six pounds out of pocket 
by his attendance at Cork and Clonmel, the only money he received 
"was at a clubb made by the Gentlemen of Cork upon account 
of your petitioner's true behaviour in his prosecution." As yet 
he has not got any of the rewards due to him under the Acts of 
Parliament, and concludes "Your petitioner humbly beggs for the 
tender mercye of God, and throws himselfe before your Excellencyes 
to consider the above allegations." Their Excellencies however 
referred him to the court. On 9th May, 1713, the trial took 
place and Tyrrell got short shrift. But his resources were not yet 
exhausted ; he managed to get the death sentence deferred in 
the hope something might turn up. 

Upon application made to us by Edward Tyrrell a condemned 
prisoner in Newgate we are pleased to grant a Reprieve to Satur- 
day the 23rd day of May instant and we hereby require the 
Sheriffs of the Citty of Dublin to forbeare execution to Saturday 
the 23rd day of May accordingly on which day the said Sheriffs 
are to cause the said sentence to be put in Execution. 

Dublin Castle 13 May 1713. 

Even with the shadows of death gathering round him Tyrrell 
did not cease to play the hypocrite. 


To the Lords Justices Generall and General! Governors of Ireland. 
The humble petition of Edward Tyrrell. 

Sheweth That your Excellencies poore petitioner being convicted 
and sentenced to die on the 15th of May instant but being re- 
prieved to the 23rd of same month and your Excellencies 
petitioner expecting nothing else but Death doth entreat your 
Excellencies for the tender mercy of almighty God to suffer your 
poor petitioner to be carried in a coach to the place of execution, 
your Excellencies petitioner being unwilling to be carried in a 
cart as Comonlye are thieves and Highway men. 

The premises tenderly considered may it therefore please your 
Excellencies to allow your poor petitioner to be caryed in a 
Coach to the place of execution and for soe doing your poor 
petitioner as in duty bound, will ever pray. EDWARD TYRRELL. 

There is no reference on the petition and it would seem that 
the wretched creature was borne to execution amid the execrations 
of the populace. The following from a contemporary newspaper 
is the last notice of him. 

[May 23rd, 1713.] This day Terrel the famous priest catcher who 
was condemned this term for having several wives, was executed. 

The Irish House of Commons had voted that "the prosecuting 
and informing against papists was an honourable service" (tt), 
but no profession however honourable could survive such members 
as Tyrrell. Protestants themselves resented the imputation of 
priest catching, and the term "priest-catcher" became the most 
hateful and opprobrious that could be applied to anyone. Among 
the papers at Marsh's Library may be seen a sworn information. 

Comit. Civit, Dublin, ff. 

Who being duly sworn and examined saith that one Samuel Dye 
a reputed Protestant on ffebruary 23rd 1722 called this Deponent 
a Priest Catcher, a rogue, with many ignominious names, collar- 
ing this Deponent and most grossly treating him where there 
were many Romans, either to curry favour with them or to raise 
a Mobb about him as this Deponent verily believes by the often 
repetitions he made of the name of Priest Catcher. And this 
Deponent further saith that one Thomas Rearfoot on the 3rd 
day of this instant April 1723 being taken on a Warrant of the 
Lord Mayor for a debt he owed this Deponent, he called this 
Deponent a Priest Catcher in the full market severall times, 

(tt) Commons Journal III, 319. 


refused to pay or come with the Constables, going to and fro 
among the crowd in order to stirr upp the Mobb to abuse this 
Deponent as severall of them did, he repeating the same words 
over and over again on purpose to hunt this Deponent. That 
one Toping of the Mobb called this Deponent quack, noe Doctor, 
told him he lyed, depending of the strong back which followed. 
This Deponent with drawing into one of the adjacent houses is 
afraid they will doe him some bodely harme, except they are 

Jurat coram me 4 Aprilis Anno 1723. 




nS the penal code formed part of the ordinary law of the 
land, its operations could be fully and adequately studied 
only in the records of the inferior courts. But these 
unfortunately have all perished. Hence such knowledge as we 
have been able to glean has been derived from the proceedings of 
the executive government reports, orders, warrants, petitions, 
judicial processes. Besides these there is however in the Dublin 
Record Office a very considerable number of papers which throw 
valuable light on the internal state of the church, the lives led 
by the priests and the conditions under which they worked. For 
though in these evil times no registers of births or marriages were 
kept, no patents of ordination or of presentation to parishes, no 
memorials of matrimonial proceedings, no documents in short 
which would prove the exercise of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, or 
would compromise priests and those who sheltered them, yet it 
was impossible for a great organisation spread over a nation to 
put away all evidence of its working. Hence as one turns over 
letters to magistrates, to civil officials, to military officers, the 
multitudinous papers that make up the routine of administration, 
documents are met with strangely out of place. Latin certificates 
"from our hiding place" that so-and-so has received priests orders, 
that he is going abroad to make his studies and earnestly commend- 
ing him to the charity of all bishops in communion with the Holy 
See. Or on the other hand parchments in pompous phraseology 
that Mr. Blank has for three years successfully studied theology 
in a certain university, in testimony whereof the Doctors of the 
celebrated faculty subscribe their names. Or again (for example) 
a dispensation in the third and fourth degree of consanguinity 
between Dominick French and Agnes Skerett. Doubtless such 
papers as these were found on persons arrested on suspicion of 
being priests, or in raiding houses where priests were known to 


have been sheltered, and were forwarded to Dublin as clues to 
popish conspiracies. Many of them remain in the collections 
classed as "Civil Correspondence," "Miscellaneous Letters and 
Papers," and "Parliamentary Returns of the Lords Committee on 
the State of Popery 1731." We select a small bundle as they illus- 
trate the condition of the priests in a part of the country which 
from its remoteness and from the number of Catholic gentry 
resident there, might be supposed to be out of the range of the 
popery laws. 

Patrick Duffy was appointed parish priest of Ballinrobe, Co. 
Mayo, about 1696. Some exact particulars of him are obtainable 
from the Register of Popish Priests of 1704. He was born in 
1658 and would appear to have studied at the Irish College at 
Douay, for his ordination is set down at Cambray in 1687 by the 
celebrated Fenelon. At the registration John Browne of the 
Neale and George Brown of Liskillin became sureties for his loyal 
behaviour. Almost from the beginning of his pastorate he seems 
to have acted as rural dean of the district of Ballinrobe. Dr. 
Lynch, the archbishop of Tuam, had been outlawed at the Revolu- 
tion and had not ventured to return to Ireland. The diocese 
therefore was administered by his two vicars, Dominic Lynch, his 
nephew, and Dr. Francis Burke, who passed under the aliases 
Dominick Deane and Miles Staunton respectively. These carried 
on a correspondence with Duffy on various matters connected with 
his deanery and some of this correspondence was preserved by 
Duffy unfortunately for himself. Though he had taken the oath 
of allegiance to William and Mary 18th April, 1698, and had sub- 
sequently registered himself according to law, yet the suspicion at 
length got abroad that he was exercising popish ecclesiastical 
jurisdiction and his capture was determined on. 

Dublin Castle 11 March 1711-2. 

Sir It is the express orders of the Lords Justices and Council 
that you take up and apprehend the bodies of Patrick Duffy 
popish priest in the County of Mayo and Edmund Burgh popish 
priest in the County of Gallwey and that you return to me an 
account of your proceedings therein. 

Sir Your most humble servant 
To Robert Miller Junior at Ballinrobe. JOSHUA DAWSON. 



Milford 18 March 1711-2. 

Sir As to their Excellencies commands for apprehending Duffy 
and Burke I shall do my utmost and have already done all in 
my power, having granted warrants against each of them both 
in the Countyes Mayo and Gallway. They have both quitted 
their parishes and are, as I am informed, gone to shelter them- 
selves, the one att Captain Hussey Burke in the borders of the 
County of Roscommon, the other towards Westport in this 
count}? whither I last night sent a party to take him. 

To Secretary Dawson. ROBERT MILLER. 

From a letter written from Castlebar 23rd September following 
we glean some details of the pursuit. 

Mr. Miller says he was ordered by the Archbishop of Tuam when 
his Grace was appointed one of the Lords Justices to seize Patrick 
Duffy popish parish priest of the parish of Ballinrobe and all 
his papers. Pursuant to which in two or three days he went 
to Ballinrobe and not finding his person, he went to the said 
Patrick Duffy's closett and seized severall of his papers and 
such as he judged important he delivered to his Grace. Amongst 
which was one signed Albane [? Cardinal Albani] with severall 
scales and entreys of severall offices through which it seems to 
have been past, which said Miller understood to be a Bull from 
the Pope impowering the said Patrick Duffy to absolve all such 
as had taken the Oath of Allegiance. 

Archbishop Synge hurried to Dublin with the treasonable 


Dublin Castle 11 March 1711-2. 

Sir My Lord Archbishop of Tuam having laid before the Council 
a paper you seized in the Popish Priest Patrick Duffy's house 
which was signed by severall persons who retracted and renounced 
their having taken the Oath of Abjuration, their Excellencies 
and Lordships desire you will give in your Examination upon 
Oath before the next Justice of the Peace of your having found 
and seized the paper in the said Popish Priest's house. 

Sir, Your most humble servant, 

To Robt. Miller. JOSHUA DAWSON. 

The priest was captured not long after and put on trial. The 
result we learn from the Warrant Book of the Lord Lieutenant. 


Whereas Patrick Duffey a secular priest of the Popish Religion 
by his remaining in this kingdom beyond the time limited by 
Act of Parliament for his leaving the kingdom, has incurred 
the penalty of the said Act in the same manner as a Regular 


Convicted, and Whereas the said Patrick Duffy has given good 
security to her Majesty of the penalty of ffifty pounds to transport 
himself to some part of Spain in six months from the 4th of 
August instant. These are to require you to cause the said 
Patrick Duffy to be delivered to Abraham Phips, Master of the 
goo.d ship the Diligence of Dublin now in this port bound to 
Spain, and send him in custody on ship board in order to his 
transportation and for so doing this shall be your Warrant. 

Dublin Castle 7 August 1711. 
To the Sheriff of the City of Dublin. 

Among the correspondence seized by Miller were some of the 
letters sent to Duffy by the vicars-general. These are little scraps 
of writing about nine inches by four, creased, soiled, and faded, 
and it is impossible to look upon them without calling up some 
picture of the circumstances in which they were written. They 
are the vestiges of men engaged in a welter and struggle for very 
existence, who had little time and no thought for composition. 
From their appearance it is evident that they were carried by the 
messenger concealed in the lining of his clothes or perhaps between 
the soles of the boot. The earliest refers to the distribution of the 
holy oils for Baptism and Extreme Unction. These according to 
the Canons should be distributed at Easter but they did not reach 
the Connaught clergy until June ; for the bishops available for 
consecrating them, were hidden away somewhere in Cork and 

7 June [16]96. 

I will summon those in your district to meet on the 17th current, 
in the morning at Killcoman chappie to renew the Oyles and 
comply with Dr. Burk ['s regulations] who will bee there as 
allso your owne. DOM. LYNCH. 

This to fr. Gibbon will suffice for him. 
[Endorsed] To P. Duffy Ballinrobe. 

For the terrible years that followed we have fortunately a 
series of letters. 

Gallway April 29, 1698. 

You will from time to time by sure hands for Mr. Lynch 's of Ballen- 
robe house, direct anything that offers under your own Scale 
and cover 'to Mr. Andrew Lynch att Ballenrobe' as if for him 
by Post recommended to you. You must unceasingly watch on 
all sides far and near, and make instrument of one Brother to 
reprehend the other. Your, DOM. LYNCH. 



In the following Dr. Lynch adopts the alias " Dominick Deane " : 

February 27 1698-9. 

Reverend Sir I had your last by the ould man who allso tould 
me you designed to visit me. I do not question your kindness 
and I am very sorry I cannot incouradge you, for my present 
circumstance is such as you know, and that cannot well admit 
visits. Wherefore it will be more expedient and discreet to ' 
send [communications] by paper than take the paynes of all 
this way, and hazard perhaps great evills. I understand your 
Assizes will be there on the 5th of Aprill, wherefore I think it 
convenient you defer the meeting of the 15th of the next, till 
that day be over and till the 15th or 20th of Aprill as you will 
thinke fitt. We ought to keep as silent as possible yet a little. 

I hope you have great care of Mr. Gibbons and Mr. Mally to see 
how they serve. Pray at your leasure order a paire of shewes 
made for me as if for your selfe, and be it somewhat biger then 
your own shewe, the heel not very high and well nailed. Your 

The following is from the other vicar-general, Dr. Francis 

Burke: 1 May 1699. 

I came hither in Mr. Deane 's absence and the holy oyles will come 
to me soone to be distributed. Wherefore I pray you warn the 
fathers of your district to meet where you will think fitt. 


July the 22 1699. 

I came into this your country but of a start. I part tomorrow 
wherefore I cannot attend what we have resolved upon con- 
cerning you and father Bourke till the next time that I expect 
we will both see you. There is an Information made against 
us in Dublin ; upon the Information, orders [were] sent to the 
country to bring us to question. Yett all will signify but little. 
Si Deus pro nobis quis contra nos ? We must all keepe close 
these three weeks to come. Your own DOMINICK DEANE. 

In the next there is an allusion to a priest hunter whose name 

has appeared in a former chapter: 

February 25 1699-1700. 

I shall be glad to hear from you if anything occurs at present. 
Wee will keep very close till the Assizes be over and till we know 
further off the designes of Mr. Birmingham. DOMINICK DEANE. 

June the 1st 1700. 
We meet with many troubles concerning the diocese of Elfin since 

we parted that country which delays us in this county and 
J the county of Roscommon and will stay us further yett. I hope 

Mr. Shaghnussy is as Dr. Madden ordered him, since desisting 


from his former disorders there in the district of Cong. If nott 
he shall blame none but himself for his utter ruin. I am sorry 
unwelcome accounts are given att all this distance of your friend 
father owen Mally. He must not think wee can always forbeare 
with him. Pray advise him to have more care of his behaviour 
and charge. Your own DOMINICK DEANE. 

July 27 1700. 

I shall see you on the 22 of the next as this enclosure requires. 
You sumon all yours to meet where you shall think most con- 
venient which I believe may be att the place where we mett 
last, and be itt timely in the morning, without horses or servants 
or any sorte of noise which is all now from your Brother. 


March the 9th 1701. 

I doe not know what to doe as yett for my safetie. God will 
direct us. I hope you have some pence to send me by this Bearer. 
It's hard to be emptie in our circumstances. Wherefore if you 
are forced to borrow, faile not sending me some till this shower 
be over. All our brothers have been formally inlisted [names 
registered by Sheriffs] and if they will have them the second 
time I believe it will be no matter so there be no bayling them 
and that they doe not appear together for feare of a surprise. 
This last Order or Proclamation was not resolved upon since 
the Hollanders declared for the King of Spain. This may soon 
alter it or [they] will issue more hard Orders. Yours 


More "hard orders" continued to be issued, and the proclam- 
ation of 28th February, 1701, was followed by a still fiercer one on 
the 25th November. The reign of terror is illustrated by another 

docket of that year. 

May 1, 1701. 

I believe father Walter Mars [? Meagher's] house to be the most 
discreet place as you say. I see no necessity for either of us 
[vicars-general] in these times to be with you. The High Con- 
stable is willing to be kind and seems soe. If he will not surprise 
we will be safe. Your Brother DOMINICK DEANE. 

August 15 1701. 

Rev. ffather I am but now come into this Country and can make 
noe great stay in it, and by reason of our long absence and great 
troubles it would be necessary and satisfactory we should spend 
an hour together. I can think of noe other place more convenient 
than fr. McDonell's house at Dunamony and about the beginning 
of next week. I want some paper which you will be pleased to 
bring me if you can spare the time to come. D. DEAN. 

To Father P. Duffy, Liskellin. 


September 19 1702. 

We are very sensible of your present condition as we suppose you 
are of ours. Wherefore we need not dilate of either side. We 
had no Cathedratica [i.e. sums payable by priests to their ordinary 
superior] off you a long time, which though inconsiderable to 
you is something to us, both for our support, and the obligation 
of calling for it to you as established and accustomed in yearly 
synods, which may be forgott if not in some manner kept in 
practice. Wherefore we both or one of us resolved to see you 
at your next month of October meeting at your severall accus- 
tomed places of meeting and require you bring your Vestments, 
Fixes, Oyle Boxes, rituals, Breviaries, Statutes and Casuists you 
moste make use of. As for one portatil [altar stone], booke 
each, about himself and on his owne horse. We have some 
particular things to communicate to you then soe as you must 
be all summoned to appeare and those of Kiltenain in father 
Walter Bourke's Mass house. We do intend for some little 
rest's sake to retire for some part of this winter and meet some 
others of our circumstance [vicars general] to consult on some 
matters of ill consequence to our trust which we would have 
done eare now but that we wanted pence to beare our charge. 
Wherefore be sure if you are forced to borrow so much, to have 
for us a crowne apiece. Yours DOMINICK DEAN. 

Even at times when the exercise of coercive power exposed 
them to serious peril, the vicars did not shirk their duty. 

To father John Mally. 5 June 1705. 

I heare you begin to follow the practice off the ffriars, annointing 

/ and administering other pastoralia when you are not authorized. 

If I here any more of this I will not brook it. Behave yourself 

as becometh, otherwise expect no kindnesse from Yours 


The following is another manifest exercise of jurisdiction : 

October 22 

I suppose you had our late letter concerning a meeting next moneth. 
It is here reported that the good ould Lord Abbott of Cong is 
Dead. Iff soe you know of it, and we must see you of necessitie 
and be it tomorrow night att ffather Alexander's [Fr. Ulick 
Burke's] mass house after night fall an hour. The way for 
you will be to call to ffather Alexander and bring him after night 
fall to the mass house with candle light and wee will be with you 
punctually there. [Let] noe man know of it. Iff the Abbott 
be not dead give yourself noe trouble but send us [word] by 
this [messenger] that wee may spare it alsoe. All from your 
owne. D. DEANE. 


Henceforward the letters become fewer. But the infamous 
oath of abjuration imposed by the Act 8 Anne, c. 3, brought new 


March 16 1711. 

Rev. Sir You know the Abjuration as public and scandalous 
perjury was hetherto reserved specially, and shall be still in 
this our district. Save the few we design shall act for us or by 
our own power which we cannot sub-delegate [no one is to give 
absolution.] Wherefore if any abjurer in this our district should 
pretend to be absolved, you must know by whom, that such 
[priest] may be punished and made sensible of his error and 
ignorance, and the [person] so unlawfully absolved must be by 
you again absolved, as one of the new authors [decides] upon 
the following conditions and terms : 

First. That each of them shall sign and acknowledge the annexed 
declaration which you must be sure to keep private for we do 
not design to expose any body but as little as we can. 

Second place ; they must oblige themselves henceforth never to 
pretend to defend or commend the taking off the said Oath to 
anybody but rather as far as shall lay in them, censure it as the 
Church does and it deserves. 

Third. That each of them without delay shall cause the Holly 
Sacrifice of the Mass bee at least once offered for them, and 
perform what pilgrimage, fast, alms and prayinge you shall 
think fitt to impose according the condition and constitution of 
each person, and 

Finally That for the future they protest against these or any other 
such oaths censured by their pastors and church. Upon per- 
forming and engaging to perform all which you will admit as 
many as shall come to you to the Holly sacraments of penance 
and the rest but not otherwise. I rest Sir, 

Your Brother and Servant 


[Endorsed] To the Rev. fa. Patk. Duffy Ballenrobe, these April 
the 10th, 1711. 

The untimely death of our friend Captain Browne is a mighty 
surprise uppon us all and an unspeakable loss to all his friends 
and especially to his own charge and family as I apprehend. 
The Almighty be mercifull to his soule. I am thinking all the 
county will be flocking there abouts this day and will be soe 
till the Corps be interred, and that all the cleargie hereabouts 
will come to offer their service for the reliese of their great patron's 
soule. The times are bad and we have reason to [observe] 
caution. You take great care of yourselves lest you be surprised 
as we are informed is intended. You must keep no sort of a 
station or meeting, but from village to village serve your people 
at unseasonable hours. I dare not goe further your side. I 


believe you may better serve or distribute the sacred liquor 
[the holy oils] in some house there at the Neale than where we 
thought to meete this day For I believe that you will see all 
those that you thought to see on this and the other side of Ballen- 
robe there, especially when you cannot want a messenger to 
advise them to come to you by degrees on .account of your 
present occasion there. Which is the most discreet method you 
can take to serve the soule of our friend and [you are] not to 
keep them long to make a show. If there be anything of a 
distribution, my compagnion [Dr. Burke] and I will deserve as 
well as another to be shared with. Such as you renew the oyles 
for, must answer our due [i.e. the Cathedra tica] before you give 
them their boxes. Make a list of them. If you could spare the 
time to come so far to me as the bearer will tell you, it would 
comfort me much. Interim I rest Sir your own 


The caution which the vicar enjoined on his clergy was not 
only needed for their own safety but for the protection of the 
family they came to honour. For if it could be ascertained that 
Captain Browne died a Catholic and in particular that a priest 
was in attendance at his death bed, then his estates of inheritance 
might be broken up in accordance with the Gavelling Act, and such 
other lands as he had leased or acquired became the property 
of "the first Protestant discoverer." This may be illustrated by 
the remarkable case Swan v. Governors of Stephen's Hospital. 
In this case one Edward Cusack of Athboy and Dublin by will 
dated 23rd June, 1753, left the hospital the reversion of his estates 
amounting to 500 a year. Though Cusack had been an ostentatious 
Protestant during a great part of his life, one Daniel Swan claimed 
the property from the Governors as the first Protestant discoverer. 
The claimant's case was that Cusack was present different times 
at mass "seeing it sometimes through a window ;" that he kept 
company with Papists and popish priests whom he harboured, 
particularly one Plunkett ; that he suffered mass to be celebrated 
in his coach house, but above all the damming fact "of the priest 
and his [Cusack's] popish nieces being with him the evening of his 
death." This last circumstance was considered of such importance 
that the counsel for the hospital tried to rebut it by the plea that 
the three parties came to Cusack merely to play a game of cards with 
him ! The vicar-general therefore had good reason to warn the 


clergy not to compromise the Browne family. But in vain. Though 
the estates were saved, the following letter from the Protestant 
Archbishop of Tuam to Archbishop Wake of Canterbury shows 
how Captain Browne's heir was kidnapped and the family of the 

Marquis of Sligo became Protestant. 

Tuam April 15, 1725. 

My Lord When the interest of religion is any way concerned I 
am sure I need make no apology for being your Grace's Adviser 
and Director. One Mr. Browne of Newport in the County of 
Mayo and Diocese of Tuam a young gentleman of about 700 
pounds a year, born of Popish parents is by the Care of his 
Guardian and some other worthy friends bred a Protestant and 
being about sixteen years of age is Master of as much Latin 
with a little Greek as is necessary for One who is not designed 
for any learned profession. His Protestant friends desire to 
give him some University Education and being desirous to send 
him to Christs Church in Oxford that he may be secure from 
the insinuating attempts of his Popish kindred, have been 
pleased to make their request to me that I would procure a 
Right Good Tutor who may take effectual care of him with 
respect both to his Religion and Manners, as well as Learning. 
It will with God's blessing be of very good consequence to the 
neighbourhood of Westport which is a remote country with very 
few Protestants in it, that this hopefull young gentleman be 
brought up a good Protestant as well as a good man in all other 
respects. And therefore I beg your Grace's information and 
advice in the choice of a Tutor for him. Long absence and no 
correspondence have made me an absolute stranger to an old 
College, for which reason this trouble is of nesessity given you 
by your Grace's most obliged and faithful servant 


The following is the last letter of Lynch's discoverable. As 
it post dates the transportation of Father Duffy by four years, it 
must have been obtained by a raid on another priest's papers : 

April 22, 1715. 

Rd. Fr. Doctor Burke is lately returned from Corck with the holly 
oyles. We desire you acquaint those in your district to recur 
on the hollydays of Pentecost to Ballenrobe to renew [them.] 
Much of the time is past us, soe as this shall be no excuse then. 

To fr. Walter Burke. Yours, DOM. LYNCH. 

The correspondence of Duffy with Dr. Francis Burke, the 
other vicar-general and subsequently archbishop, though not so 
extensive is of no less interest. The earliest document is a summons 
from Burke to the clergy secular and regular of Tuam, having 


the cure of souls, to attend a diocesan synod in the chapel of Bores- 
cara 6th June, 1695. It must have been no little risk in these 
times to bring such an assembly together, yet synods seem to have 
been held with fair regularity. On the 4th June, 1698, the year in 
which the priests were expatriated in hundreds', the clergy of Tuam 
met in synod. An abstract of the charge given by Dr. Burke may 
be given : 

Being so long from your conversation and company I extremely 
longed for the opportunity of saluting you herewith. For 
though you are out of my sight you are not out of my mind. 
My heart is vigilant for your welfare (5 Corin). I can give you 
no account of my proceedings since I saw you nisi de labore et 
dolore in quibus cum Apostolo ad Romanos quinto, gloriamur, 
scientes quod tribulatio etc. 

The dignity of the priesthood is the greatest on earth. Ne mihi 
narres purpuras nee diadema nee vestes aureas, umbrae sunt 
haec omnia in comparatione dignitatis sacerdotis, and in con- 
sequence the obligation is greater on the priests in serving the 
vineyards trusted to them. Qui dedit multa, multum quaeret 
ab eis (Luke II). 

We ought to hold ourselves indispensably obliged to compose our 
behaviour and actions especially in this juncture of time more 

I than ever, when the flock depends only of the priests as their 

I guide in good example, sound doctrine and modest behaviour. 

I Wherein if the priest fails what shall become of him and the 
flock. The flock strays for want of pastor and guide, and in 
lieu of defending them from the common enemie, he will ensnare 
them in the laborint (sic) of perdition. 

We know well how to apprehend and examine how profitable and 
unprofitable, benefices be for our temporal maintenance and 
begrudges (sic) if small the charge to us committed, little con- 
sidering our little sufficiencie to support the least charge. If 
we think that we comply [with our duty] by saying mass and 
administering some sacraments to the dying, really we are 
deceaved. It is not all, for we are obliged to instruct them in 
the Christian doctrine and give them dayly the evangelical foode. 
Praedicate evangelium omni creaturae (Mark 16). 

The prophet minds us of the judgment, and his reason is quia' 
laqueo facti sumus by our bad example in keeping bad company 
by our lewd and light carriadge by our conversation nothing 
modest nor edifying but contrary to our function by being 
most sloathfull in our application to spiritual reading. Where- 
fore we are in our reasons shallow, in our exhortations unprofitable 
but in worldly occupations more active than becometh, and more 
like seculars than spiritual pastors, nay to our great confusion 
inferior to many [members] of the church in vertue and be- 


Doubtless this was modelled largely on the episcopal charges 
with which the vicar was familiar from, his French up-bringing. 
Addressed to men under the harrow of the penal code, and living 
on the barest margin of subsistence, it must have sounded almost 
grotesque. In the subjects proposed for discussion at the theolog- 
ical conferences one can also hear the echoes of the Sorbonne. 

Quaestio l a 
Quid et quotuplex sit lex ? 

2 a 
Utrum lex naturae aut Decalogi invmcibiliter ignorari ? 

3 a 

Utrum homo in statu naturae lapsae et sine gratia aut auxilio 
supernatural! possit implere omnia aut singula praecepta legis 
naturae aut Decalogi? 

4 a 

Utrum librum arbitrium propriis viribus aut sine auxilio super- 
naturali possit assentire veritatibus supernaturalibus ut a Deo 

5 a 

Utrum liberum arbitrum per se et sine adjuvante gratia aliqua 
valeat elicere actum virtutis moralis. 

6 a 

Utrum peceatum veniale sit in rigore peccatum contra legem Dei 
et si culpa venialis remitti potest in altera vita. 

In the following agreement we have recalled the old rights 
of patronage exercised by laymen before the Reformation: 

James [Lynch] Lord Archbishop of Tuam did by Instrument at 
the Neale 1 1 May 1698 declare that he was then on his visitation 
soe as until his return he might not attend the determining of 
differences between his Grace and Edward, Baron of Athenry 
about the presentation of the parishes of Dunmore, Killkerin 
and Killererin. And whereas the said Lord Baron offered to 
make out his title, and the time proving troublesome then and 
since and his Grace having by the said Instrument declared to 
avoid all prejudice to the Lord Baron or his heirs on account 
of any collation made to the severall rectories vicarages and 
parishes of Killkerin, Dunmore and Killererin by the said Arch- 
bishop, did declare that the severall incumbents should be there 
indifferently only for serveing the cure of soules without pre- 
judice to the right of the said Archbishop or the said Baron 
until the right of presentation shall be examined by indifferent 
persons to be named by the said Archbishop and the said Baron, 
which the said Archbishop declared should be done on his return 
from his visitation. And whereas Father Roger McDermot 


parish priest of the said parish of Killererin is now ten days 
dead and the said Lord Baron by instrument dated did present 
unto us Dr. Francis Burke Vicar Generall of Tuam in all usual 
manner, Fr. Francis Duffye as a fitt person to supply the cure of 
soules in the said parish and as the said Baron offers to make 
his title appear before the said Archbishop, -yett in regards the 
said Archbishop is now and hath been for many yeares past 
banished into France soe as he may not without eminent Danger 
of his Life appear in this kingdom of Ireland, and that we are 
now under great Disquiett not dareing to appear in Publick we 
doe assure the said Lord Baron that wee will notify his desires 
to the said Archbishop and untill answer be had wee doe consent 
and agree that an indifferent priest chosen by the consent of the 
said Parties shall attend the cure of soules. 20 June 1701. 
EDMD BURKE Prebend de Kallagbeg. Signed FRAN. BURKE 



The vicar-general did not confine his activities to his own 
diocese. The Bishop of Elphin, old and decrepid, was eking out 
his last years in Louvain where he had long been a refugee. In 
his absence the evils contemplated by government in banishing 
the bishops, had become widespread in the diocese. Much therefore 
of Dr. Burke 's anxious responsibility arose from the bickering and 
the uncontrolled condition of the vacated dioceses. Writing to 
Father Duffy about the year 1706 he states : 

I have continual troubles by the neighbouring Dioceses, specially 
by the Diocese of Elfin whose priests are in great variance with 
their vicar Doctor Ambrose Madden of Loughrea. [One of them] 
appeales from his own ordinary to me, and through frivolous 
apprehensiveness, suspects in his letter of my partiality as you 
will see hereafter. Wherefore I hould it convenient to appoint 
for the tryall of his business Arbiters Juris. I send you inclosed 
the libel [statement] presented by him and doe desire that you 
send a copy of it to ffather Myles Gibbon that you may [both] 
judg upon it, for I intend to name you both for to heare and 
sentence the matter, if it comes to a tryall. They shall goe to 
your conveniencie. As far as I can hear they would name Dr. 
Lynch, they would suggest him more then my selfe. I am sure 
he puts in his libell many things not much relateing to the matter, 
I say nothing of it but what I see by the libell inclosed. I send 
you alsoe a copy of a petition presented by a priest of the Diocese 
of Elfin who requires me to apoint for him an Advocate to 
pleade his cause. I named you for him. He is able [rich] and 
will consider you well for your trouble. If he goes to you you 
must draw a libell in form for him. 


Besides ruling the church it is, according to the Apostle, the 
office of a bishop to preach. As the solitary pastoral that has 
come down to us from those times, the reader's indulgence is 
craved for the following : 

Whereas it has been evermore practiced by the faithfull both in 
the old and the new law when threatened with sorrow and 
affliction from above, to have recourse to their only refuge, the 
Almighty by fasting, prayers, and sundry other mortifications 
whereby they appeased His divine wrath, especially when their 
pennance for offending their Creator and Redeemer was sincere 
and true. Wee then who profess Christianity but practice it so 
little, whose chief care and study is to seek happiness, when 
there can be no reall, and by acquiring riches, and very often 
by unlawfull means, and in the meane time neglect our duty to 
God Wee I say who find pleasure in offending Him and difficulty 
in serving his divine Majesty, make nothing of transgressing his 
laws by adoring what we should despise and despising what we 
should adore, if wee seriously intend to work our salvation let 
us repent from our heart for our past iniquities, let us fast, pray 
and share our substance with the distressed everyone according 
to his ability. 

The foulness of the weather this summer will without doubt open 
the eyes of many who have been hitherto in a deep slumber, 
force them to owne their dependence of the Divine Providence 
they so little thought of in their prosperity. One bad season 
will destroy their stock, cows and all their worldly substance. 
Such calamities may indeed induce much towards our spiritual , 
good by making us deserve the name of Christians a name wee 1 
so often abused. We ought to [have recourse] before the throne 1 
of mercy not as hypocrites and pharisees and endeavour by our 
repentance and good works to divert this and other storms that 
hang over us. To this end the Clergy whose business it is to 
give good example to others will prescribe nothing for their 
parishioners but what they will practice themselves. The 
gentry and such as do not work will -fast three week days. The 
priests both seculars and regulars besides the three days fast 
will say every day their masses devoutly with the two collects 
Da nobis et Ecclesiae [?] when they can be conveniently put in 
until the next Sessions of Parliament and even then too. The 
Qergy both secular and regular will in the beginning of their 
masses say their beads in lingua vulgari Sundays and holy days, 
and in every family-prayers at night all others will say with the 
prophet Daniel we have departed from thy commandments wee 
deserve confusion for our sins. It's not in confidence for our 
own justice wee offer our prayers to thee but of the multitude 
of thy mercies. 


This is what I recommend to you, gentlemen, a confidence in the 
Almighty, the merits of our Dear Saviour's Death and Passion 
with the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, St. Patrick our holy 
Apostle and Patron, St. Bridgit, St. Brendan of Clonfert and 
all the Saints if we acquitt ourselves of our duty humbly and 
devoutly as well as we purpose, that we will obtain mercy Amen. 

E[DMUND] K[ELLY] Clonfertensis. 

the 5th July 1725. 

In these calamitous times as it was not thought safe to make 
a second copy this was handed round from priest to priest according 
to the direction annexed "You may direct this upon sight to the 
next neighbour." The addresses of the priests are accordingly to 
be seen most of them however, obliterated : "July 12 1725 James 
Coughlan," "John Maddin," "pray forward to Mr. Denis 
Kennedy" etc. 

There are several bundles of papers relating to the regular 
clergy in the Dublin Record Office. Though in the years subsequent 
to 1698 the pursuit of the friars was ubiquitious and untiring, yet 
many by registering themselves as secular priests continued to 
keep in the country. After 1720 persecution abating they began 
in out-of-the-way places to come together again and form little 
communities. They set up for agriculturists, rented a farm, took 
a few novices under the pretence of "servant boys" and with the 
aid of alms collected in the country round about, they managed to 
live. Seeing that the whole land practically, had passed to men 
animated with furious bigotry, who had every interest in uprooting 
and banishing the religious, it is interesting to ascertain how they 
succeeded in getting hold of houses and lands. The prolixity of 
the following epistle directed to Primate Boulter will therefore be 
excused : 

May it please Your Grace. 

I have heard from my friends in Dublin that there has been 
great endeavours used to bear down the credit of the Returns I 
made of the fryerys in this County. I am sure I can Justine 
my Returns and as I apprehend my reputation and honour is 
greatly concerned to clear off every doubt that may be conceived 
of the truth of these facts, I humbly entreate Your Grace and 
the Lords Committee for Inquirey into the present state of Popery, 
will please to examine me and I hope to give such satisfaction to 
every particular I have represented to your Grace and their 
Lordships as will leave no room to have my veracity questioned. 


Since my last Return I have discovered two Convents of ffryers 
more in this County viz. one at Banabula near Ballinahinch in 
Irconnought ; I can't tell on whose estate it is. The other is 
in the woods on the mountains of Kilmurry. They have a good 
comfortable house. They removed from the County of Ros- 
common about 5 years ago. I am informed it is the estate of 
Richard Martin who I believe was a Convert [i.e. to Protestantism] 
he is lately dead. The fryers of Meelick hold their farm from 
Darcy Hamilton, a Popish Lawyer ; it is in lease to Coll. Eyre 
from the family of Clanrickard for 999 years. Old Coll. Eyre 
sett it to this Hamilton for a^term of years yet unexpired. There 
is a very large spacious house, well slated with brick partitions 
quite through the house and vaults lately built and not yet 
quite finished att this Abby for the use of the Abby. The 
fryers of Portumna live two miles I believe from the Abby at 
Buoly which they rent from Redmond Dolphin a Convert. 
The fryers of Kinallehin removed from Tarnany which is the 
estate of Robert Masson, Esq. to a house joining the abby in 
June 1730 or thereabouts. -This house and eight acres was 
purchased from the late Earle of Clanrickard by Denis Daly 
of Rafort a Convert, and by him sett to those fryers. When 
those fryers came there in 1730 they found one Mathew Aylward 
following the soap boyling trade in it. They desired him leave 
their house with bag and baggage but Aylward went to this 
Daly and applyed to him for liberty to remaine in the house 
and Daly gave him a letter which he showed to the Community 
and they permitted him to remaine there ever since but on 
Wednesday the 5 January this last past Aylward declared 
that Dennis Daly had lately a few days before sett him the 
Abby and lands, for that all the hurry and trouble given of 
late to those fryers was only to take away those acres of the 
Abby from him, Daly, and that to prevent [i.e. anticipate] the 
same, the land and Abby was set to him Aylward. Mark Hickey 
the Guardian of this Convent often declared that they paid no 
rent to Daly but their prayers and that he was their great bene- 
factor: There's a very large chappell well-slated, lately finished 
there. The fryers of Loughrea rent their house from one Lynch, 
brother-in-law to Dennis Daly who is a papist and at whose 
house Daly lives. The Fryers of Athenry live at Esker near 
two miles from the Abby on the estate of Thomas Power Daly, 
a Papist. The fryers of Clare Gallway live close to the Abby 
and are building a large house. It is the estate of Thomas Blake. 
A Convent of fryers of Ross removed from the Abby about a 
mile to Kilroe in Co. Mayo on the estate of Martin Blake a Convert. 
This Abby is the only one in this County in any sort of repair. 
It is the estate of the Lord St. George. The fryers of Dunmore 
removed about five years ago from Clonbrush near Dunmore to 
Garbally which is the estate of Patrick French Esq. The house 


is in the name of one Higgins. Patrick Brehon is prior of the 
Convent and is a subscribing witness to a demise which I sent 
your Grace amongst the papers from that place. Kilconnell 
fryars live near the abbey on the estate of Antony Daly, a 
Convert, and those of Athycoffee near Clontoskert live on the 
estate of Nicholas Arcedekne a papist. I presume I need not 
mention to your Grace on whose land Thady Glinn lives (because 
the original leese is before you) or how he came to the parish of 
Dunmore because Brien O'Gara the titular Arch Bishop of Tuam 
explains the matter in a letter of his which is I believe before 
your Grace. If it be your Grace's and the Lords Committee's 
pleasure to inquire more particularly into the manner of Glinn 's 
being placed in the parish, I hope I shall be able to offer some 
things that will support the credit of what O'Gara writes and 
give many instances of the unhappy circumstances the Prot- 
estants of this County are in by means of the power, influence 
and strength, the number and intolerable insolence of Papists 
who possess entire parishes and not one Protestant family in 
some of them. I am with the greatest ardour your obedient, 
devoted, faithfull, humble servant STRATFORD EYRE. 

Eyrecourt 3 Mar 1731-2. 

The numerous Catholic landed proprietors in Galway, even 
though some were "converts" will explain how in the worst times 
Franciscans, Dominicans, Augustinians, and Carmelites found a 
habitat there. In most other parts of the country the solitary 
regular who kept watch upon the old abbey lived as a secular and 
gradually disappeared. But however generous the patronage and 
however Catholic the district, the little communities were always 
liable to be swept off in a sudden squall of fanaticism. In 1732 
all the Galway houses were raided, some of the members arrested, 
the rest scattered, while their papers were seized and transmitted 
to Dublin. There they may still be seen amongst the records of 
the Irish Parliament whose persecuting zeal they served to feed. 
From them it is possible to re-construct in some measure the life 
led by the friars during the second and third decades of the 
eighteenth century. 

The documents belonging to the Augustinian priory of Dunmore 
are characteristic of the others and from them a selection is made. 
Though calling themselves the priory of Dunmore after an ancient 
foundation, the friars actually lived at Garbally twenty miles off 
on the borders of Roscommon where a friendly Catholic gentleman 


named French leased them a farm. The following will illustrate 

a friar "in the making " : 

May the 21 1725. 

The Bearer Mr. James Dwyer has lived with me above twelve 
months Tutoring my children, and has during that time behaved 
himself modestly, discreetly, and vertuously. He has a great in- 
clination to become an Apprentice in your house, if he can be soe 
fortunate to be received, I can safely tell you he can be no dis- 
credit to the order. There's one of my children has a call that 
way. I would be glad to have the honour to see you at my house 
when next you come to the barony of Athlone being still Your 
R. most humble servant P. O'FFALLON. 

Ambrose O'Fallon endorsed this "the Bearer is a good human- 
ist and of exquisite good behaviour, which fr. Thomas Mulvee can 
attest." Here is a similar application: 

The Bearer is a young man that has a design to live with you 
for some time in order to make one amongst you. I am 
acquainted with him for severall yeares and never could either 
hear or find out anything by him that might in the least redound 
to his discredit. 

He tutored formerly at Captain Cheevers and these seaven yeares 
past at one Mr. Ned Erwins a very worthy gentleman here in 
our neighbourhood. This same young man will be cordially 
recommended to you, both by the aforesaid Mr. Erwin and 
Dr. Kelly or Captain Cheevers if need be. In short I recom- 
mend him to you as a lad that behaved very well hitherto and 
as a very smart scholar both as to French and Latin, writing 
and arithmetic ; and together with all these perfections [he] has 
wherewithall to supply himself at the present with the proper 
requisites. You understand me, my dear Sir. I begg you'll 
use him very courteously at my poor instance till further recom- 
mended. My friends here join in giving you their humble 
service and pray except of the same from your most affectionate. 
May the 13 1726. FR. THO KEGGAN. 

The prior of Dunmore was Patrick Brehon who passed under 
the name of Johnson. Before he could receive novices the consent 
of the provincial had to be obtained. Peter Mulligan, provincial, 
writes to "Johnson" 5th November, 1724 : 

Mr. K. came here yesterday with your letter which I read as I 
did the attestation of very good persons about his life and 
manners. I have no reason to doubt of their sincerity in what 
they assert about him. To what I could not be deceived in 
myself that is his capacity in what I reasonably could examine 
him I tell you I find him capable enough. So that if you and he 


will agree in other things I consent you receive him. But he 
must take care of the other young man there and if he be stubborn 
to him or you he will repent it. This Mr. Keegan is very capable 
to forward him. 

SAME TO SAME, 3 SEPT. 1725. 

There have been no less than sixteen that offered themselves to 
be received with us since I saw you last but all are put off till 
we look better about us. This hindered me I mean this great 
number to send two young boys to you at present. The 
confirmation of all elections and Acts of our Chapter by the 
Generall I got only yesterday into my hands though these were 
despatched by him the 3rd of October last. 

If after a year's noviciate the young man's talents and conduct 
were regarded as satisfactory he was ordained and sent abroad to 
a convent of the order there to pursue for some years a course of 
philosoplry and theology. Unlike the other religious orders the 
Irish Augustinians had no colleges on the Continent until 1739, 
but the foreign convents had agreed, owing to the persecution, 
to receive and educate a certain number of them. A few illustra- 
tions of the life abroad may here be given : 

Rome May 31 1725. 

My dear Fr. Egan I should have given you a mere insinuation 
of my arrival, kind reception and welfare in the College, did I 
know whither to direct a scroll to you. Whereas at your de- 
parture from Cadiz you were uncertain whether you would go 
straight for Ireland or remain for some time in Lisbon where I 
doe find by father ffarrell's letter to a frier of yours and mine, 
you at present reside and doe wish you may live with as 
much content and satisfaction there as I doe here under the 
wings of the best of men, my ever Dear friend fr. Lector Jubilate 
O'Maddin who brought me here from Capla soon after my arrival 
there and settled me to my utmost satisfaction notwithstanding 
the College not wanting before a supernumerary out of my 
province. I overtook the course very happily wherein we 
arrived ere they finished the Logick, though we thought in Cadiz 
they were further advanced. The Guardian received very well 
the kind recommendation of me, to whom you will be pleased 
to write answer of thanksgiving for his tenderness of your well 
wished. Whereby favour me with the result of this which I 
doe hope to be consoled with without delay for [I] am mentally 
uneas}' you were intimated to be among them Portuguese. I 
delivered yours to L. Clery in the University who was kind to 
me on your account. As for the Prioress I haven't as yet seen 
her though we sent her your Letter which she received [I] am 


told with mirth and tears. Pray when you write to my dear 
subjects or cousin salute 'em kindly for me and assure the former 
I am a little surprised to have received noe answer to the severall 
letters to 'em. Fr. Doctor Dounellan is vicar of the great 
university of Caplea and salutes you being now at my elbow, 
as are your old friends brother Nicholas Blak and your friend 
Cullin. I don't question did I acquaint the very Rev. Father 
Guardian and others of my writing to you, but they'd all kindly 
salute you whereas they urgently profess tender wishes for you. 
Old Fr. Peter Kelly dyed in Caplea the beginning of this Lent 
which is all the newes I can give you other than how prowd I 
am of the regularity and religiosity of the College. My hearty 
love to Counsellor French at St. Dominick's Key and to father 
Thomas Aylward for whose misfortune in his venture in Cadiz 
and Mariana I am heartily sorry ; for they were not satisfied 
to throw all their affairs upon you. They don't care whether 
poor Tom be dead or alive. Wish him joy from me in his priest- 
hood. And believe me to be most imoveabry your own till 

Al M.R. fr. Juan McEgan al Relegioso Irlanda in Casa grande de 
N.P. San Fran, in lo Ciudad de Lisboa. 

In reply to a letter from "Johnson," a student abroad wrote : 

Paris 9 October 1723. 

Dear Sir I had the favour of yours dated the 14 July by which 
I understand you take me for William Gibbons who is dead in 
Germany some yeares agoe and who, had he lived, would doe 
more than all the Byrns in Ireland. But I am sorry I can't 
supply his place being yett in my studies though neer the end. 
In the time we are in I am most bare in this country, so that 
if my goeing to Rome had done you any good it's out of my 
power for want of money to bear my charges. I am the fourth 
Mr. Connor pleased to enlist for Dunmore next May seven yeares 
allong with Mr. James Bourke under the tuition of Mr. Mullvey. 


The following, which is of a later date, was addressed from 
some college in Spain Madrid probably, to Father Bryan Mac- 
dermott a priest of the diocese of Elphin. The name of the writer 

also was concealed for obvious reasons: 

3 May 1756. 

Dear Bryan I have no news to give you. I wrote to our friend 
Fr. O'Connor with a letter enclosed for you which I believe did 
not come to hand as you mentioned nothing about it in your 
letter. The number of masses I owe you are 144 but 'tis not 
my intention to oblige you with any only just what you can 
conveniently discharge and are compatible with your occupation. 


I only require you to write after you settle at home and tell me 
how many you and father can engage that I may have the rest 
of them complied with here. If Patrick goes with you get him 
to say a parcell and pay him the charity by way of the gligs 
(sic) and that for his^sauciness to me in his last letter. Perhaps 
you may get his companion Father Michael to say a few and 
also Don Miguel your own companion. The worst on't is that 
I have no retribution by this only the 50 Miss Beirne sent me. 
For the rest I owe since a wooden priest [i.e. one without faculties] 
when I discharged them without the proper application and was 
obliged by the blind Jesuit with whom I was at Exercises this 
past lent to discharge them over again. After your arrival 
please God write to me. Costello got a letter from Dr. Brett 
[bishop of Elphin] with bouden [bodings] what happened you 
not hearing from you. He tells me of your disappointments 
and desired his father to give you two guineas. 

Old Ryan is a strong pretender for our College but will meet strong 
opposition. Surely you would be sorry such an old buck should 
fatten his wrinkled belly by the precious bread of St. George. 
Blind Peter is intayled in troubles as before but pray how can 
I help it if I did not prove an unloyal subject which I never 
will though stripped of the vicar. But Mick has no concern 
about his cousin Peter Marky for his bread is secure and he shall 
not be in the least woryed. Ryan came here to be examined in 
Grammar but the hearty lads only examined his teeth as they 
did with old horses [flesh] and sent him off with a pair of horns. 
Purcell, Landy, Kenney and Spruleen Knaven are his protectors 
but all the rest are quite against him, by which you may see the 
trouble the old man gave our house. I had a pair of old spectacles 
for him and desired he should conjugate your fathers verb pario. 
You may respond to our friend Fr. Connor and tell him I shall 
show his pall (?) all the civil offices in my power and that his 
recommendation is of greater service to the poor lad than all 
. the letters he carried with him from Ireland ; for if Ryan had 
but a few along with the Patrons who were very much pre- 
judiced, he would infallibly carry his point. Dr. Carol got at 
length a Canonship in Cordova. This minute I'm dressed to 
march along with the rest to the Magdalena to take share of his 
splendid function, so my dear Bryan, I shall conclude without 
ceremony. Your own ex toto Corde. CARRINGTON. 

The Proctor and Collegians join in kind wishes, and Mr. Costello 
gives you his kind service though somewhat jealous for not 
writing to him since you departed. 

It will be observed that the applicants for admission to the 
colleges abroad being numerous, vacancies were not always found. 
The Augustinian provincial, Edmund Byrne, writing to "Johnson" 
at Garbally, September 7th, 1722, says: 


I had an account and orders this day from beyond seas that we 
must receive no more novices in this kingdom till further orders. 

Again next month, October 18th: 

If you have sent any of the young men to the province of Andalusia 
thev will not be taken by reason of the great number of ours 
that is there already. All Spain complains of us for receiving 
so many in this kingdom and so do all other countries. 

Finally Cardinal Imperiali, Protector of Ireland, August 27th, 
1724, reported a complaint made by some of the Irish bishops : 

Several of the regulars in this kingdom admit young men to be \ 
novices without obliging them to wear religious habits or con- \ ' 
fining them to any regular place or discipline ; that after the ^ 
year of their noviciates they are admitted into profession and 
promoted to Holy Orders ; that every guardian or superior 
keeps about himself two or three such novices. 

The indiscriminate reception of novices had lamentable results. 
Father Mulligan, provincial, writes to "Johnson" 5th November, 
1724 : 

To Casserly I gave no dismissories nor obedience to other countries 
since he was thoroughly incapable of being advanced to any- \ 
thing. I wish he was taken, to have all his theft out of his hands. \ 
The Breviary he stole was Mr. Martin's. I am sorry you did ' 
not see him to take from him the watch which certainly he stole 
from some boddy. 

Again on 3rd September, 1725 : 

Casserly if he had been prosecuted by those he stole the goods 
from, had been hanged. So his sentence was to be banished \^ 
to America as they tell me. Fahy was likely to be taken by 
warrants for abusing a man at a fair. He made it worse by 
wounding and beating the same man at his return from the 
fair. He is suspended by us. 

Father John Dowdall who was elected provincial 14th July, 
1730, adopted an effective if obvious method of checking the abuse. 


I wrote to Mr. Dowdall about Mr. Waldron whom you presented 
to me. Know then that he will have none received if first they 
lay not down fourteen pounds sterling besides what they spend 
upon themselves for their maintenance the first year the which 
fourteen pounds are to be for their passing from this kingdom 
to places of study after their profession. The reception of any 
he not only forbids, but commands it shall be but upon that 


condition. So that if Waldron has not the fourteen pounds to 
lay up in some 'hands that have nothing to do with him, nor 
can I further help him. He may expect the provincial! 's own 
coming down which will be about May next. 

It is to be lamented that of the routine life and work of the 
priests these papers afford no glimpse. The "station" at the 
farm house, the sermon by the patron well, the instruction of the 
children by the turf fire o' nights, the confirmation at rare periods 
indeed in the hills, all this was entered down in no human 
record. But when the ecclesiastical machinery went out of order, 
when there was scandal among the people, and the sanctuary 
polluted, then notice was taken and documents filed. Much 
therefore of the following, though characteristic of the time, deals 
with the rare and abnormal. Probably one of the first "chapters" 
held by the Irish Augustinians since the Reformation, is thus 
reported : 

Acta Subsequentia statuta et stabilita a difnnitorio nostro Capitulo 
provintiali Dublinii celebrato die nono Junii Anno 1724. 

1. Nullus priorum sub quovis pretextu assumat sibi potestatem 
recipiendi novitios nisi obtenta prius expressa provintialis 
licentia, a quo vel ab alio ab ipso specialiter ad hoc deputato 
stricte examinentur nee tune approbentur, nisi grammaticas 
regulas et linguam latinam apprime calleant. Nee hoc sufficiat 
sine probabilissimo indicio bonae indolis, purae conscientiae et 
testimonio virorum indubitae fidei. 

2. Quicunque falso incusaverit alium sive superiorem sive in- 
feriorem aut aequalem, aut qui mendacii, perjurii aut calumniae 
reus fuerit sive per litteras ad quoscunque scriptas sive alias, 
infamis habeatur et sine ulla dispensation juxta arbitrium 
provintialis aut sui immediati superioris puniatur. 

3. Si quis frater nostrorum die a suo priore sibi assignato nulla 
urgente necessitate contempserit ad conventum revertere, 
apostata habeatur, et si ei rationes reddere de quaestu, elemosyna 
legatis piis aut aliis quocunque modo a fidelibus monasterio 
deputatis, noluerit, proprietarius judicetur. 

4. Omnis prior in suo conventu ne se sinistram praebeat avaritiae 
(quae in nobis nominari non debeat) notam, ordinamus ut 
singulis saltern mensibus, si frequentius fieri nequeat, rationes 
reddat coram duobus Patribus de his quae quovis modo pro 
conventus usu aut fratrum sustentatione a quibusvis personis 
aut benefactoribus accepit. Sic pariter de expensis et an neces- 
sario fuerint in usum conventus exhibitae. 

5. Qui tabernas nisi itineris causa aut alia premente necessitate, 
frequentant unde scandalum oriatur, rigorose et sine mora 


gravibus submittuntur poenis, et si quis prior in hoc mandate 
exequendo negligens fuerit, ipse a provintiali non leviter puniatur. 

6. Si quis in tantam cordis duritiam incident ut Dei et sui ipsius 
immemor, ecclesiae legum aspernator vituperatorque evadat 
contra ejus statuta clandestina administrando matrimonia, 
statim suo priore suspendatur et rigorosis ad ejus arbitrium 
subjaceat poenis, nee remittatur nisi a provintiali ad quern suus 
prior eum demandabit ubicunque eum comorari. 

7. Cum prior provincialis ultra tarn provinciam litteras R ! Generali 
Romae mittendas quam inde recipiendas pro specialibus nostrae 
provinciae negotiis soluturus sit Is. ; pariter sine expensis 
regnum hoc circumire debito visitationis tempore nequeat, 
statutuimus ut quilibet noster conventus ei in qualibet visita- 
tione viginti solidos anglicanae monetae solvat. 

8. Statuimus et stricte praecipimus ut quicunque nominatus et 
electus ut prior alicujus conventus nostri in hae provincia sine 
mora aut quavis tergiversatione conf erat ad eum sibi assignatum 
conventum et quo propius poterit comoretur ut omnibus in- 
notescat talem ad nos pertinere: 

Habeant omnes priores veras horum actuum copias in suis con- 
ventibus et saepius legi faciant coram P.P. et F.F. ne ignorantia 
praetendant in his quae observare tenentur. 
FR. FRAN. KELEY, Preses. FR. PETRUS MULLIGAN provincialis 
electus. FR. EDMUNDUS BYRNE provincialis absolutus. FR. 
secundus diffinitor. FR. MICHL. FLANNELLY tertius Dimnitor. 
NICHOLAUS DORKAN quartus DifHnitor. MICHS. KERNY Visita- 
tor. PAT. BEOLAN. 

From these statutes it will be seen that not only were the 
bonds of religious life relaxed but the respective rights of seculars 
and regulars were obliterated. The eighth statute is particularly 
deserving of notice. From the days of Henry VIII. when Grey 
and Brabazon seized the monasteries, the Augustinians gradually 
disappeared until by the beginning of the seventeenth century 
they had become almost extinct. Later, in more peaceable times 
a few gathered in the neighbourhood of urban priories. Now as 
the penal era was passing away they began to make claim to places 
that had not known them for two hundred years. A prior would 
be named at the Chapter, and fortified with a missive from his 
provincial or maybe a brief from Rome itself, he came down to 
preside over a community that did not exist, and to take possession 
of a monastery the site of which was hardly discoverable. If as 
sometimes happened he was appointed to a parish in the district, 


well and good. More often he set up on his own account as prior 
of some historic house and made claim to all sorts of forgotten 
jurisdictions. He quested for alms in the parishes which had once 
been annexed to the priory. This was admissible enough. But 
when he asserted his right to be parish priest of the rectories 
anciently appropriated to the priory, and when as such, he assisted 
at the marriages of the parishioners his pretensions were fiercely 
contested. The papers therefore in the Record Office throw much 
light on this unsettled period ; they contain evidence of much 
misunderstanding, much bickering and of no little scandal. A few 
may here be given : 

I do hereby declare that I have been a Collector of the alms and 
charit}'' accustomed to be given to the friers and brethren of the 
Convent of Dunmore in the year 1684 and have collected for ten 
years in the parishes of Kilevoone and next parishes to it viz. 
Abort and Hanery and that in that tyme nor never since have 
heard anny reclaime or pretences to them parishes from the 
Augustinian friars of Gallwey vntil this present day. Given 
under my hand in Garbally this 15 day 6f September 1724. 


I do hereby Certify that the Parishioners of the inside mentioned 
parishes [enclosure missing] whatever Charity they were to give 
to any of the Augustinian family that it would be only to Mr. 
Owen Connor, because he lived amongst them now and that that 
was his former limitation, and by this means I lost most part of 
my last two collections. Given under my hand in Garbally 
this 6 day of february 1725. ' FR. MATHIAS TRECY. 

Gallway 10 September 1732. 

Rev. Fr. I send you by the Bearer Terance Harran, Carrier, a 
small Roundlet full of good mountain, being a Spanish wine 
containing 8 quarts for the use of the Mass, which I make bold 
to present you with, as a small marke of my esteem for you 
which shall never lessen as long as I live but rather encrease. I 
am thoroughly persuaded of your good wishes and affection for 
me and my wife, and we both flatter ourselves that we participate 
of your prayers which we very much esteem and pray you'll 
continue to include us and our little ones for the future. Which 
I am sure is but what you are used to do. I send by the Bearer 
two Boxes Spanish [ ] weight Iqr 20 Ibs which I gave 

him orders to deliver td Thomas Harran at or near Millick who 
is husband to Gate Callanan, Darcy's nurse. Jenny joynes me in 
a [commendation] to our Father Hamilton whose blessing we 
creave. Your affectionate friend and faithfull servant to com- 


The child Anthony taken ill since yesterday evening ; he is hot 
and sicke. I hope it is from the teeth, and that he'll soon do 
well which the Almighty grant. 

To Mr. James Madan at MiUick neare Eyrecourt. 

An Augustinian who had been falsely accused was the subject 
of the following somewhat grotesque epistle : 

January 23 1725. 

The Bearer Mr. Martin Kennedy being falsely accused in my 
behaf that he was a person who temerously did attempt to 
assist at the marryage of one of my flock and also when repre- 
hended by me for the fact did objurgeously assault me with 
more vehemence than became a reprobate. Now dear and 
Rev. Sir I assure you upon the word of a priest and as I expect 
a share of perpetual bliss, he never to my knowledge committed 
the least fault in damnum parochi. He never did me the least 
indignity upon any occasion whatsoever. 


The archbishop of Tuam, Bernard O'Gara, was at this time 
known under the highly respectable and Protestant name of 
George Fowler. 

Rev. Sir. The Bearer Edmund White of this parish and Catherine 
Kelly of the parish of Killosope have been published here three 
severall times and no canonical impediment discovered why 
they should not be joyned in holy matrimony. Father John 
being now from home and Mr. Abbot being in Dublin I know of 
none in that parish qualified to perform this or any other Ecclesias- 
tical office but your selfe. Wherefore if you please or think it 
convenient in the absence of those gentlemen to performe this 
office, getting your own dues, I believe you may safely do it. I 
am in all sincerity Your affectionate humble servant 

November 18 1731. GEORGE FOWLER. 

Patrick Brehon, alias Johnson, was a friar of the militant 
type. Ordained in 1685, he was educated in Spain whence as we 
find from letters from the provincial of Castile he returned towards 
the end of 1715. He was prior of Dunmore in 1721, and sub- 
sequently of Galway. By letter, dated June llth, 1723, the 
provincial, Edmund Byrne, removed him. Brehon who considered 
himself badly treated, contemplated an appeal to the general of 
the order, but whether the appeal was prosecuted does not appear. 
Some years later he was in trouble with the bishop of Clonfert. 
The latter complained to the provincial, Father Mulligan. 


Very Rev. Father Though I had no great encouragement from 
the last Request I made you, that you'll grant me another, yet 
before I proceed further I think fit to complain to you of one 
Fr. Patrick Brehon that styles himself prior of Dunmore who 
signed the following propositions in conjunction with two or 
three other friars that I have no acquaintance with. As for 
Fr. Brehon he had no opportunity to know my life and con- 
versation and much less my sentiments of any Doctrine. I 
therefore desire that he will produce his proof of what he writes 
against me or else I shall not own him as Prior of Dunmore 
nor receive his obedience as such, but look upon him as one of the 
.blackest of Calumniators. I must own my low circumstances 
wont allow me to stretch my hand often to the Mendicants 
I but it's beyond exception true that no man of my station in 
Ireland has their interests more at heart and recommends it with 
more zeal and discretion to the pastors and flocks of this district 
than I do, and this is what I have for my pains. In a word Sir, 
I'll expect you'll do me justice before I send my complaint to 
Rome. Fr. Brehon will oblige the Church if he proves the 
itruth of any one word that he signs against me. And if he does 
not, I think he renders himself unworthy of the place he represents. 
I expect your thoughts on this matter \yy the bearer and am in 
the mean time in spight. of malice and calumny, Your very 
affectionate humble servant, CAR. KELLY. 

September 14 1728. 

l a Propositio. De S. Scriptura in vulgari legenda promiscue. 

2 a De Vulgatae corruptela, orthodoxis hie scandalosa et hetero- 
doxis pergrata. 

3 a De praecepto audiendi missam parochialem, et solo parocho 
vel alteri de ejus hcentia in Paschata confitendi. 

4 a De Indulgentiis effectu carentibus. 

5 a De operibus satisf actor iis Absolution! necessario praemittendis. 

6 a De durante adhuc canonum poenitentialium rigore. 

7 a De sanctorum invocatione et Rosario minus (ut putamus) 
reverenter tractatis. 

8 a De papae definientis fallibilitate, in Hibernia ad hec tempora 

Denique de regularibus illustrissimis episcopis jure divino subjectis 
seu ab illis non exemptis et eorundem privilegiorum contemptu 

[Endorsed] To the V. Rev. fa. Peter Mulligan. 

This appeal had the desired effect. Brehon was brought to 
heel and in his reply to trie bishop he stated "By my subscription 
I never intended to level at you but that my only design was to 
stand in conjunction with other Regulars for such privileges are 
were granted to Religious Orders." The bishop wrote to the 


provincial expressing himself satisfied with the justice done him, 
and stating his belief that Brehon was brought into the plot by 
Father Edmund Burke, a Franciscan. He required an admission 
of this fact from Brehon under his hand and seal. In a subsequent 
letter to the provincial he added that the statement "I was an 
enemy to Regulars is as false as if they had said I was at the battle 
of Preston." The action of the provincial was admirable through- 
out. But he had many a trial from Brehon. 

Dear Sir It's with near concearne and inward grief of heart I 
make some solitary reflections on part of the deplorable letter 
you wrote to me wherein you express, though in generall [terms] 
the so long continued jarrs and disagrements 'twixt you and 
your company there. And which I (pardon the freedom of a 
friend) do call both unseasonable and ungodly. 

Unseasonable because at a time that we lie under the mercy of 
such as have power to extirpate us out of the land and whom, 
certainly considering our miscarriages and imprudent behaviour, 
we can call more our friends than we can ourselves if our passions 
will so blind us as to become our own enemies. Add to this 
that it is a time that our exemplary life should edify all. But 
what happens there destroys this nay as you yourself must 
confess must be a scandal and a stumbling block to them. 

I call it likewise ungodly for while such a life is maintained how 
men can answer their calling, acquit themselves of their duty 
or exercise their function, is to me inconceivable, to themselves 
I believe no less. 

I conceive the healing of your wounds on both sides though never 
so deep, depends on your own prudence, on your doing these 
discontented parties justice in all points, on your showing them 
your paternal love and affection. Setting also that value on 
every one which in any way he deserves, far from making their 
defects more publick, to cover them from such as shall make 
you and them the subject of their scorn and derision. To 
admonish them with the bowels of piety and commiseration, 
moved by the zeal of God to your duty of superior therein. Not 
to be so easy in suspending them and that upon the most trifling 
occasion or lighter faults. Not to abuse them in the presence 
of seculars or miscall them in any place. To let them share in 
such habitations as may conveniently be given them and to 
which they are preferable before any seculars men and women. 
Of all those things and perhaps more they pretend you are 
guilty as I know by the letters of some of them which Mr. Byrne 
did me the honour to let me see. My advice as from your loving 
friend and servant is to study a reconcilement between yourself 
and them by satisfying them to your utmost power even though it 


had been to your disadvantage. Father, if you give up your 
charge as you say; it will much redound to your discredit for 
the place you are in is worth to be noticed and the post you are 
in an honour to any of our company. You may be sure Mr. 
Byrne's heart aches to hear your case but the remedies at this 
distance not so easy for him, and you all know he cannot go 
there now. But he hopes soon to hear from you that your breach 
will be made up. And dear Sir pardon me in this one point yet, 
that it is too hard a case to send those obediences that you 
desire while the persons are under mala fama and publickly dis- 
credited (they'll say by you) though their own doings may be 
the occasion. But do you once restore them to something of a 
good name it's then easy to remove them con buona grazia. 
Man's reputation is too dear to him. Pardon my liberty and 
know it is only the effects of the benevolent affection of your 
most humble servant. P. MULLIGAN. 

[Endorsed] To Mr. Owen Egan Merchant in Gallway to be for- 
warded to Mr. Johnson in the Co. of Mayo. 

With these words so full of practical wisdom and fraternal 
charity this portion of our subject may be concluded. They leave 
on the mind a high impression of the men who held the helm of the 
Irish church in the times of storm. 



ff\ S long as the forces of religious and racial hate which created 
jl the penal code, continued active and this was throughout 
^ ^ the greater part of the eighteenth century the priests 
were at the mercy of every local despot or bigot who chose to put 
the law in motion. But there were particular periods when the 
laws were, so to say, in full blast ; when the whole executive bent 
itself to the work, and the Catholic Church was driven as if, beneath 
the surface. Sometimes it was a threatened descent of the Jacob- 
ites, sometimes an unaccountable paroxysm of anti-Catholic fury. 
Thus in 1708, 1711-3, 1719, 1731, and 1743, in response to appeals 
from government, general war was levied on "the common enemy" 
as the Catholics were styled by Parliament and Lords Lieutenant. 
At these periods county sheriffs, governors of gaols, magistrates, 
revenue collectors and others sent in reports and from them a 
tolerably clear view can be obtained of what was going on in 
the country. It is proposed in the remaining chapters to utilise 
these reports to illustrate the condition of the priests in the four 
provinces seriatim. 

The number of priests who in accordance with the Act of 1703 
registered themselves at the several quarter sessions in Ulster was 
one hundred and eighty-nine. Taking into account the population 
of the province at the period, the supply of priests was not inade- 
quate. But in other respects the state of the church was deplorable. 
The long persecution seconded by the plantation of 1610 and the 
immigration of Scotch Calvinists at the close of the century, had 
almost completely destroyed ecclesiastical organisation and dis- 
cipline. Except in Armagh there was no regular succession of 
bishops for long periods together. Down and Connor from 1675 to 
1715 was under vicars. Clogher from 1687 to 1727, but for a brief 
interval of four years. Killmore from 1669 to 1728 was under 
vicars or administrators. Similarly Raphoe from 1661 to 1725. 
Dromore for the greater part of the period 1667 to 1731 was without 

268 ULSTER. 

a bishop. Worst of all, Derry during a century and-a-quarter had 
no bishop, if we except Fergus Lea who was consecrated at Rome 
in 1694 and died there after a few months. The results are 
described in a letter of Macmahon, bishop of Clogher, to Propaganda 
in 1714 (uu). There was no regular provision for educating the 
clergjr. Most of them had only received a hedge-school education 
after which they picked up from priests and others as much Latin 
as enabled them to be ordained and read mass. Some few, after 
ordination made their way to Paris for a smattering of casuistry. 
The register of 1704 gives in the entire province the names of six 
only who received orders abroad. But more lamentable than the 
want of education was the want of moral training in seminaries. 
Macmahon found in Armagh four vicars-general, each denouncing 
and excommunicating the others. When parishes became vacant 
each vicar nominated his own parish priest, and the two or more 
parish priests had of course each his own adherents, so there were 
rival congregations and altar against altar. As in Armagh so in 
the suffragan sees. Killmore had its four contending vicars, Derry 
two and so on. The people seeing the ecclesiastics torn by factions, 
took upon themselves in many cases to appoint their own parish 
priests ; and one of the greatest difficulties Macmahon had in the 
diocese of Clogher was how to deal with unworthy priests thrust 
into parishes in this way. The authorities at Rome were fully 
alive to the state of affairs but how to maintain bishops in Ulster 
was a problem not easy of solution. The Catholics, reduced to the 
condition of cottiers or of menial servants lay for the most part 
mixed with Protestants. Hence notwithstanding all disguises and 
precautions, it was almost impossible for a bishop to remain amongst 
them for any length of time, undiscovered. In 1704 when only 
two bishops were left in Ireland, one of them, the archbishop of 
Cashel, being bed-ridden, the situation was discussed between the 
pope, the exiled bishops, and the guardians of the "Pretender." 
It was resolved to send three bishops to Ireland. One was to be 
placed in Kerry, another* at Kilmacduagh, the third at Killala ; 
there could be no question of settling bishops in the Ulster sees. 
And the. wisdom of this was soon apparent. For the solitary bishop 
(uu) Spicilegium Ossoriense II, p. 470-488. 

ULSTER. 269 

in that province, Donnelly of Dromore, was soon tracked. In 
September, 1706, word reached the Lords Justices that a certain 
parish priest living in the mountains above Newry, and duly 
registered for that parish was in reality a popish bishop. Measures 
for his capture were at once taken. 

Dublin Castle 3rd September 1706. 

Sir Judge Coote has recommended you to the Lords Justices as 

a person very ready and capable to serve their Excellencies in 
seizing of a popish Bishop his name is Patrick Donnelly he is 
tittular Bishop of Drommore and lodges at the house of one 
John Parian who is priest of the parish of Killevy in the County 
of Ardmagh there fore their Excellencies have commanded me 
to acquaint you therewith and desires you will be as expeditious 
as you can in the execution thereof. I am Sr. 

To Walter Dawson Esqre yr most humble servt. 

at Ardmagh. JOHN PRATT. 


Ardmagh 9 Sept. 1706. 

Sir I have sent one I could depend on to our mountain to get 
an account of patrick Donnelly that Lodges or Lodged with 
Priest Parlon and the said Messenger could not find that any 
such person ever lodged with the said priest but brings me an 
account that there is one Doctor Patrick Donnelly who lives 
within a short mile to Priest Parlon's house and the said Doctor 
Donnelly I find registered for part of the parish of Newry that 
lies in the county of Ardmagh. If this be the same person that 
their Excellencies are informed to be the Titular Bishop of Dro- 
more I shall doe all that is in the power of man to cease [seize] 
him. I desire your favour to let me know their Excellencies' 
opinion if this Doctor Donnelly be the person that I must secure. 
Your answer by next post will much oblige. 

Your humble servant 


Their Excellencies' answer was in the affirmative : 

Dundalk the 15 of Sept. 1706. 

Sir Yesterday pursuant to their Excellencies commands I took 
Doctor Patrick Donnelly, Titular Bishop of Dromore at the 
foot of Slievegullin mountain in the County of Ardmagh whom 
I brought thoraugh a shoule [shoal] of papists to Dundalk, having 
none the least of the army with me. For my spies gave me a 
very speedy account where I could secure the Doctor, which I 
was not willing to omit and the time could not allow me to send 
their Excellencies' orders to the commanding officer of Dragoones 
at Dungannon. I had the faithfull promise of Captain Briser 
who commands at the redout near Newry to supply me with 

270 ULSTER. 

a Sergeant and twelve men upon which I went off and ceased 
the Doctor and immediately after I dispatched an express to 
be a guide to the said souldiers to me, and stayd in the moun- 
tains at least five howres for them but the Captain was soe 
unkind as not to send me one man, which was like to be of ill con- 
sequence ; for all the roads that I was to carry off the Doctor 
thorough was filling with the mountayneers and about one howre 
after, I came to Dundalk I sent for Mr. Lay a Justice of Peace 
to come to me who was with me early this morning to whom I 
applied to send a Mittimus with the Doctor to gaole. He 
accordingly did when I waiglled (sic) the Doctor and left him 
in custody. I shall waite in this town till I receive their Ex- 
cellencies' further commands, if any more be requisite for me to 
perform. If their Excellencies would have the Doctor up to 
Dublin I shall reddily oblige their Excellencies' commands. 
Direct to me by next post to Dundalk and oblige, 
2 Reward ? Your most humble servant 

To John Pratt Esq. Secy, at Warr. WALTER DAWSON. 

The endorsement is "Doctr to be examined whether he is 
registered and to be kept a close prisoner." This was done in 
due course. 

According to your directions I brought Mr. Leigh a Justice of 
Peace who examined Doctor Donnelly whose declaration is as 
followeth before Mr. Leigh. 

The declaration of Patrick Donnelly of Killevy in the County of 
Ardmagh saith that he is in priests orders and that he is registered 
parish priest of the part of the parish of Newry that lies in the 
County of Ardmagh. Saith he never received any other orders 
than priests' orders and never exercised any jurisdiction other 
than belongs to the priest's office and further saith he never took 
upon himself the title of a Bishop, neither did he perform any 
office that particularly belongs to the office of a Bishop. 

Taken before me the 19 of September 1706. 


Seeing that Donnelly had been appointed by the pope to the 
see of Dromore as far back as 1697 this declaration is at first sight, 
startling. But the truth appears to be that owing to the troubles 
of the time he had never been able to obtain episcopal con- 
secration. A similar case was that of Ambrose Madden appointed 
bishop of Killala 1695. He was not consecrated until 15th April, 
1714, and then only by one bishop as two assistants could not be 
had. The Dublin authorities however were not satisfied. Were 
not papists deliberate perjurers, and that by papal dispensation ? 

ULSTER. 271 

Accordingly Dawson was again written to, to make an exhaustive 
search for the bishop's papers. He replied from Armagh 23rd 
September that he would spare no efforts to secure the "Doctors 
Trunckes" but that he now required a posse of twelve dragoons. 
Whether he succeeded in the search or not does not appear, but 
in the event government was assured that they had a real live 
bishop. Every effort was made to obtain evidence against him. 
On 6th November a writ was issued by Sir Richard Pyne 
directed to the sheriff of Louth to produce the body of Donnelly 
at the King's Courts, in Dublin, the Wednesday -next after the 
Octave of St. Martin. To this circumstance we are able to trace 
the further proceedings in the Queen's Bench records. From the 
"Rough Rule Book," the Indictments and Informations, the 
following particulars are gleaned : 

Patrick Donnelly. [On the motion 

Saturday, next after 

the Octave of St. Martin 4 
23 November 1706. 

of Counsellor] Bernard brought by 

habeas corpus. 

Let him be committed to the Mar- 

shalsea prison. 

Monday in the ( Patrick Donnelly To be bailed unless 

quinzaine of St. Martin j cause shown Thursday next. 
25 November 1706. I 

/ Patrick Donnelly traverses in custody. 
I The same. Let him be tried second 
Thursday next after the Friday next term. 

quinzaine of St. Martin < The same. Let him be committed as 

28 November 1706 


Let him be before the Judge, on the 

motion of Bernard. 

The crown was in difficulties ; the only evidence obtainable 
being the following : 

The Examination of John Duffy. The said Examinat being duly 
sworn and examined saith that he has for several years past 
known one Doctor Patrick Donnelly, Titular Bishop of Dromore 
in the North of Ireland which said Patrick Donnelly this Exam- 
inat believes and is creadibly informed is now in Dublin. This 
Examinat was present in this kingdom att a certain place in the 
North of Ireland in the year 1700 and saw the said Doctor Patrick 
Donnelly ordain and make severall priests or put severall persons 
in orders of priesthood according to the ceremony of the Church 
of Rome and this Examinat knows the said Patrick Donnelly 
is a Papist and verily believes he is a Bishop of the Romish 

272 ULSTER. 

Religion for that he the said Patrick Donnelly did wear a mitre 
and habit of a Bishop in the year 1700 when he did ordain and 
put in orders severall persons as aforesaid. Jurat coram me 
28 die Novembr 1706. JAMES MACARTNEY 

John Duffy etc. 

But there were hopes of obtaining - some corroboration of 
Duffy's story. Early in the following year Dr. Donnelly was put 
forward again. 

Monday in the f Patrick Donnelly. [On the motion 

quinzaine of St. Hillary < of] Sergeant Saunders. 
27 January 1706J7] { ffryday sevenight for trial. 

From the following it appears that the hope of a conviction 
was lessening : 

Monday within the 

Octave of the Purification B.V.M. 
9 February 1706[7] 

Patrick Donnelly. [By con- 
sent of] Attorney General 
to be bailed. 
First ffryday next term to 
be tried. 

The bailsmen as we learn from the Recognizance Book were : 

Patrick Donnelly in Carriganalla Co. Ardmagh 1000. 
Daniel McEnnis of Castlewellan Co. Down .... 500. 

Richard Reddy of the City of Dublin gentleman 500. 
Edward Fitz Gerrald of Peasetown Co. Westmeath 500. 

No further evidence as to Donnelly's ecclesiastical status 
could be obtained and so he was brought to trial at last. 

Wednesday next after ( Patrick Donnelly. [On the motion 

the quinzaine of Easter \ of] Attorney General. Tuesday 

30 April 1707. ( sevenight further for his trial. 

Tuesday next after the ( Patrick Donnelly. 

Month of Easter \ Not guilty. 

13 May 1707. 1 

With the imprisonment of Donnelly the hierarchy of Ulster 
de facto came to an end. On the 21st September 1707, it ended 
de jure, by the death in Paris of the archbishop of Armagh. As 
"Coochonoght alias Domini^k Maguire, Titular Primate," he had 
been outlawed in the counties of Fermanagh and Louth at the 
time of the Revolution and had not dared to return. The question 
therefore of appointing bishops in Ireland had to be considered 
anew. The county Monaghan was central in Ulster and sufficiently 

ULSTER. 273 

Catholic to afford fair shelter for a bishop. Doubtless this fact 
influenced Propaganda in filling the see of Clogher. The choice 
fell on Hugh Macmahon, Canon of Cassel in Flanders, and it was 
resolved to ignore the "Pretender's" right of nomination lest any 
mention of that fact in the Brief, might imperil Macmahon 's life 
in the event of his capture. Appointed 15 March, 1707, and con- 
secrated abroad he only succeeded in reaching Dublin towards the 
close of the following year. By changing name, abode and dis- 
guise, he managed for three years to outwit the priest hunters. 
In 1713 he was appointed to the primacy, an office \vhichof course 
made him more obnoxious and multiplied his dangers. At last the 
spies got on his trail and so the executive itself set about his capture. 

Dublin Castle 25 October 1712. 

Sir The Lords Justices and Council having received an Infor- 
mation that the titular popish Primate McMahon is lately come 
into this kingdom from Flanders and now resides at the house 
of Cullogh Duff McMahon near Carrickmacross their Excellencies 
and Lordships have commanded me to acquaint you therewith 
and to desire you will immediately take such numbers of persons 
as you shall think necessary and proper for that service and 
cause the said Primate to be apprehended and committed to 
Gaole and his papers to be sealed upp and sent to the Council 
Board and that you will give their Excellencies and Lordships 
an account of your proceedings therein 

I am, Sir, Your most humble servant, 


To Capt. William Barton one of her Maiesties Justices of the 
Peace at Thomastown neare Dundalk. 

The magistrate lost no time in the hunt but the cover was 

drawn blank. 

Thomastown October 30 1712. 

Sir I was favoured with your letter of the 25th and pursuant 
thereto I went with a party and all secretly by moonlight to 
Cullogh Duff McMahon 's house about three miles from Carrick- 
macross and diligently searched it and every out house and crate 
[creaght cattle byre] near it but met with no such like person 
as you write of and only three or four poor labourers and some 
women and Cullagh Duff on a straw bed with napy blankets 
and sacks stuffed with straw for a Bolster who reddily got up 
and with lights we looked in every place for papers under the 
pretence for stolen goods that we heard were brought thither 
and I believe they will think that was the occasion of our going 


274 ULSTER. 

thither and if the person you mention did ever lye there he would 
have some more decensy of a lodging than any was there. Of 
which pray inform their Excellencies and Lordships 

from Sir your most humble servant, 
dunleir not dundalk is my post town. WILLIAM BARTON. 

This was very disappointing to their Lordships. But now 
an experienced priest hunter appears upon the scene. 

Dublin Castle 8 Nov 1712. 

Gentlemen The Lords Justices and Council having received Infor- 
mation upon Oath that the Titular Bishop Primate McMahon 
resides in the Counties of Louth and Monaghan and that the 
Bearer hereof Edward Tyrrell can apprehend him in case he be 
assisted by the Justices of the Peace and Gentlemen of the 
Country. Their Excellencies and the Privy Council have com- 
manded me to signify their pleasure to you to give your best 
assistance to Edward Tyrrell and to send with him such a number 
of men as shall be sufficient to apprehend the said Primate 
McMahon and when taken to commit him to the County Gaole 
and as their Excellencies and Council do not at all doubt your 
affection for her Maiestie's service soe they hope you will exert 
yourselves upon this occasion in the apprehension of the said 
Titular Primate and send an account of your proceedings therein. 

I am Sirs Your most humble servant, 


To her Maties Justices of the Peace in the Counties of Louth and 

Tyrrell escorted by a number of the local gentry made various 
peregrinations and succeeded in capturing several priests. The 
elusive Macmahon however again escaped, and continued as before 
to exercise popish jurisdiction, so their lordships had reason 
to know. In 1720 the most determined attempt was made to 
capture him this time at the instigation of apostate priests. 
The whole diocese town and country was scoured, every hiding 
place that his prosecutors could suggest, was searched. It was 
vain to protect himself from the enemies of his own household, 
and so the hunted primate had to fly the district and secret himself 
in a distant part of the province. 

Besides the bishops^ the vicars and others exercising juris- 
diction in the pope's name gave much concern to government. 
The following will illustrate the proceedings in a diocese the history 
of which at this period is somewhat obscure : 

ULSTER. 275 

Downe October 8 1712. 

Sir In pursuance to the Order of the Government Major Morise 
and I issued our warrant to apprehend one James Hannal whom 
we look upon to be the most dangerous Priest in this County 
and if he could not be found, to secure his papers. And that 
no time might be lost, we sent [a party] to secure him the very 
night after the Proclamation came down. He did not lye at 
his house that night nor has he appeared in this country since, 
but they brought his papers. Some of these show that he had 
great auctority among them but I send you the copy of one 
that plainly shows jurisdiction. It is in these words : 

Dominis Patritio Pray, Jacobo Magee, danieli Lea, Edmundo 
Grady, Ricardo Tegart, Patritio Bern, Muriarto Krachry, Patritio 
Moylan etc. Omnes et singulos admonitos esse volo et in virtute 
Spiritus Sancti et sanctae obedientiae sub poena latae sententiae, 
apud aedes Danieli Magenisse inter nonan et decimam horam 
die Martis 22 instantis Januarii Ann. 1711-2 adesse vos omnes 
volo et jubeo ut testatur manus mea. Ja. Hannal. 

hac die 14 Januarii 1711-2. 

Now you may observe that they are summoned (they are priests) 
under penalty of the holy obedience and of being ipso facto 
excommunicated. Which shows plainly that he exercises 
Ecclesiasticall jurisdiction yett I believe is only a vicar generall 
but not Bishop. I took this morning the Examination of Daniel 
Mackey who swore that there was a meeting of all these persons 
at his house which is a publicke house, in January but could 
not swear to the day, so that there was not only a summons 
but a meeting pursuant to it, which gives great auctority and 
weight to the paper. I have this morning taken two Examin- 
ations against the same Hannal for saying mass in Michaelmas 
day last, from persons present, and the Examinations are at 
this time before the Grand Jury who are good men and will 
certainly make a proper use of them. Necessaire business obliges 
me to go straight to the County of Ardmagh and cannot stay 
till the close of the sessions, but you may depend upon it that 
the gentlemen of the bench and Grand Jury will answer the 
expectation of the Government. If the Government shall think 
fitt to send any further instructions relative to James Hannal 
or the other priests they will find a ready compliance to their 
commands from all the gentlemen in this County and particularly 
from Sir, Your very humble servant 

To Jos. Dawson. HEN. MAXWELL. 

The magistrate was as good as his word : 

Downe February 2 1712-3. 

Sir I formerly gave you an account that I sent to search for one 
James Hannal a priest whom I had reason to believe exercises 
Ecclesiasticall jurisdiction in this Diocese and the most dangerous 

276 ULSTER. 

priest in all this County. I am now to acquaint you that he 
is taken and Major Morrise and I have sent him to the jaile with 
a Mittimus. This Morrise and I are desirous to know the sentence 
of the Government how we are to behave ourselves on this 
occasion and if he be bailable what bail we are to take. I must 
tell you that the Priests in this country are very much alarmed 
and disturbed at his being taken and so exasperated at the man 
that took him that I have been obliged to give him arms to 
defend his house from their insults. The sub sheriff has been 
been with me since the Priest's confinement and told me that 
he had clapped a new arrest upon him for marrying a couple 
of our church clandestinely which crime I leave to the Govern- 
ment whether it be bailable. I waite your directions. 

Sir, Your very humble servant 
To Jos. Dawson. H. MAXWELL. 

When there was so dangerous a priest there could be no question 
of bail, and so Hannal was imprisoned until sent forward to the 
assizes. Nearly two years later we get the last account of him 

from the gaoler of Downpatrick. 

Down Patrick 2 Nov. 1714. 

Sir Yours I received of the 23 of October. There is no one in 
the Gaol of the County of Down under sentence of Transpor- 
tation but one James Hannal a popish priest. He has layn in 
Goale about fowerteen months and has been about halfe of that 
time under the sentence of Transportation. George Lam- 
bert Esq. one of the Justices of the Peace and I have used our 
endeavours to have him put off and have had him severall 
times att Portaferry but could gett noe shipp that would receive 
him. We shall do our utmost to gett him transported as soon 
as possible we can. Your most humble servant 


About this period all sorts of reports were circulated of Jacobite 
plots. The priests were supposed to be the principal conspirators. 
When evidence of this was not obtainable recourse was had to the 
old methods. 

Dear Brother This is to let you know that I received a letter 
from our friend the Nuncio from Rome whence I have a full 
account of matters abroad. Thank my Jesus, now his most 
Christian Majestic hath let our King have 50 thousand pounds 
and 30 thousand arms which will be very soon remitted to us 
that we may be able to assist to settle him upon the Throne of 
England. I hope it will be done to that effect that never it 
shall be in the power of any damned heretick to give him the 
least trouble hereafter our hope while the world stands and the 
glory of all the Roman Catholicks. I hope now we have a fair 

ULSTER. 277 

opportunity to begin and give the blow. The Queen is to get 
her Dosse very soon, the great minister of State in England 
who has all at his own designe, hath prooved true, very faithfull 
to our People in all matters since he came to that Honour which 
I hope he will receive the reward of a faithfull servant. I'm 
told by good hands that the Duke of Marl will be soon put out 
of the way which will make things the better for us. I wish 
he and all his Party were damned which in a short time I hope 
they will be sent to Eternity. There is in England 600 Com- 
missions come over lately but in my next you shall know what 
they are. My time will not permit me to let you know what 
we agreed upon. When I was at the general Meeting in Conaught 
only this [month?] 700 gentlemen have signed the matter and 
it's gone over. The answer I hope we'll have by the end of 
January at farthest. You may communicate this to our friends 
and let them be ready at the fair warning which depend upon it 
you shall- have from me. Which being all my time will allow 
me to say at present only my duty to all my Brethren in your 
Country I rest your affectionate Brother. 

J.M. Jany. 14 1711-2. 
For Father Murphy at his lodging in Cavan. 

Priests having the habit of carrying such documents loosely 
about them, it was duly dropped and duly picked up as appears 
from the endorsement "Copy of a letter dropped at the Four 
Courts Reed 4 ffeby 1711-2." It was at once transmitted to 
Secretary Southwell and communicated to government. The 
Council discussed it and compared it with the hundred other 
cock-and-bull stories. These all helped to confirm one another, 
that every ecclesiastic in Ireland was in the pay of the Pretender. 
Accordingly during the closing years of Queen Anne's reign the 
priests were kept constantly on the run. The sheriffs, mayors, 
and others had instructions to acquaint the executive with the 
steps taken to carry out the law, and so the particulars we have 
of these years are sufficiently ample. From Derry, William Wotton, 
mayor, wrote 12 June, 1714 : 

We do not find any papists that have sent their children abroad 
for fforeign education or any of the Popish Clergy exercising 
ecclesiasticall jurisdiction or officiating as popish priests except 
one who we are informed hath lately officiated within the [City] 
Liberties and we hope to have him in custody in a few days. 

This was followed on the 25th by a letter from the high sheriff 
Alexander Squire, that the magistrates of the County had held a 

278 ULSTER. 

secret meeting (lest the Papists should learn of their proceedings) 
and that measures were concerted to seize on the popish priests 
in the several districts. But already the priests were forewarned. 
Thomas Lawson, Richard Downeing, and James Grattan write 
from Magherafelt, October 17th, 1712 : 

We met at Ballaghy the 3rd instant and issued summons to the 
severall Popish registered priests in our Barony to appeare 
before us this day to take the Oath of Abjuration ; they being 
six in number. It has appeared to us that three of them are 
really sicke and not able to travel but they sent us assurances 
they will as soon as they recover, and on a day appointed by us, 
appear. These three are Hagan, McKeever, and McNimee. 
Brullechan and McGrath sent us the inclosed letter [missing], 
and McRory neither did appear nor sent any excuse. We have 
adjourned and hope they will come in except McRory who we 
believe will stand out. 

McRory had indeed previously given a taste of his fibre. 
Dawson, a local magnate, wrote to his brother the Dublin Secretary, 
enclosing a letter from William Jackson, Seneschal of Drapers- 
town, 22nd December, 1710. There have been proceedings, 
writes Jackson, in our manor court against Preist Terence McRory 
and his nephew James McRory, and their goods were taken on 
distress. They appealed to Mr. Mulholland, the sub-sheriff, and so 
recovered the goods. But at the assizes an order was made by 
the judge to return the goods and he promised to do so. McRory 
still holds the goods. 

This prest lives in the Manor of Draperstown and parish of Bally- 
neescren, who publickly says mass and officiates as popish 
priest, is very rich and thereby countenanced by some persons. 
If you think fitt to lay before your brother to send down an order 
to Captain Downing to summons in this spark Preist McRory 
to take the Oath of Abjuration and prevent him from officiating 
as Preist it will quiet that Gentleman. This is the head of this 
McRory's Impudence, Insulting over me as Seneschal. 

The proceedings in the adjoining county of Donegal we learn 
from the successive high sheriffs. Peter Benson writes from 
Beadstown, 4th March, 1711-2: 

I received yours of the 26 February and will observe the govern- 
ment's commands in apprehending the popish priests in our 
County to the utmost of my power. I will take care to secure 

ULSTER. 279 

the priests in the two Baronies of Boylagh and Tholme, being 
next to Connaught, and will proceed with all expedition to 
secure the west. 

What number of priests was captured we have no means of 
knowing, but some years later they had become more wary. The 
sheriff George Gary wrote 5 November 1714 : 

There has been due care taken in this County to apprehend popish 
priests that do officiate, not having qualified themselves according 
to the statute. But as yett none of them have been taken 
being nott to be found. 

Fuller details are forthcoming from Fermanagh. On 10th 
June, 1714, Mervyn Archdale acquaints their Excellencies that he 
will appoint a private sessions of the magistrates of the County 
"to find by Inquisition" the effectual way to enforce the Acts 
against the popish clergy. Thirteen days later he again writes : 

Ennis Killen 23 June 1714. 

Sir It was found on enquiry that the severall persons hereafter 
specified were inhabiting the said County contrary to the laws 
and we have ordered attachments against them, and design to 
use all lawfull wayes and meanes to bring them to Justice. 


A list of the severall priests found inhabiteing in the county of 
ffermanagh contrary to Law, the 22 June 1714. 

1. Charles McGealloge priest of Cleenagh parish, Registered but 
not taken the oaths. 

2. Doctor McKue priest of Killasher, Registered but not taken the 

3. Patrick Murphy priest of Aghuveen, Registered but not taken 
the oaths. 

4. William Roe o Hoyne, Enniskilling, Registered but not taken the 

5. Patrick McLinan, Inis M'Shane, Registered but not taken the 

6. Terence Moor Connelly, Cloonish, Registered but not taken the 

7. Dominic McDonnell formerly a frier officiating in Drumcully, 
priest not registered nor taken the Oaths. 

8. Owen McDonnell lately come from France or elsewhere, offici- 
ating in said parish not registered nor taken the Oaths. 

9. Hugh McHue a frier, Curate and assistant to Doctor McKue 
aforesaid in Killaster parish not registered nor taken the Oaths. 

10. John Drum priest in Kinaulty, Registered but not taken the 

280 ULSTER. 

11. . Shenan a ffrier in the said parish not registered nor taken 
the Oaths. 

12. Roger McGuire a fugitive priest not registered in said parish 

13. Bryan Ban Cassidy alias Treassy a friar officiating in Killastere, 
priest not registered nor taken the Oaths. 

14. Maurice Cassidy priest Derryvullan. Registered but not taken 
the Oaths. 

15. John Roe McGuire parish of Maghrisculmony Registered but 
not taken the Oaths. 

16. Turlagh Linan priest of said parish Registered but not taken 
the Oaths. 

17. Donagh McGuire priest of the said parish Registered but not 
taken the Oaths. 

18. Art McCullyan prior of Logh Darge in the County Donnygall 
and priest of Teinplecarn in the County Fermanagh Registered 
but not taken the Oaths. 

19. Edmund McGraw officiating in the parish of Inis McShant 
and came from beyond seas not registered nor taken the Oaths. 

20. Philymy Cassidy, priest Divinish parish, Registered but not 
taken the Oaths. 

21. Edmund McLinan priest of Boho parish Registered but not 
taken the Oaths. 

22. Hugh roe McGuire a Dangerous person left the County of late. 

Bartholomew Morrish 
Hugh McGuire 
Patrick ffodaghon 
Hugh Brine 
James McCaffrey 
Thomas McGuire 
Owen Ballaghan Cormuck 
Phylimy McCarbery 
Christopher fflanagan 

That the sheriff and magistrates were not merely content with 
making reports to headquarters would appear from the following : 

Co. ffermanagh I, David Gibson; Gaoler of the said County 

acknowledge to have received from Edward 
Noble, sub sheriff of the said County the body of Philimy McGuire 
pretended popish priest of the parish of Aghalurcher. 

Dated 11 March 1711-2. 

In the other counties the authorities were equally active. On 
12th June, 1714, the High Sheriff of Antrim informed Dawson that 
he was summoning the magistrates to consult how best to deal 
with the popish priests. From the towns came similar accounts. 
Samuel Davys, mayor of Carrickfergus, writes on the 23rd : 

School Masters. 

ULSTER. 281 

As we have no popish priests inhabiting the said county, I know 
of none that is not registered who does officiate as parish priest 
here nor of any Regulars of the Popish Clergy who execute any 
ecclesiasticall jurisdiction. 

The reply of the mayor of Belfast at an earlier date deserves 
to be set down in full. 

Belfast March 24 1707-8. 

Sir In obedience to the Proclamation issued by the Government 
and Council I immediately issued a warrant against the Popish 
priest within my jurisdiction as Mayor of Belfast. The Priest 
whose name is Philemy O'Hanel immediately upon the first 
issuing of it, being 111, wrote me a letter that he would surrender 
himself vnto me and as soon as he was able to come to town, 
would wait upon me. Accordingly he came upon Monday last 
and stayd in the town till I came home and hath this day sur- 
rendered himself to me. I have putt him into our Towne Gaole 
and desire you would communicate this account to their Ex- 
cellencies the Lords Justices, where I intend to keep him vntill 
I know their further pleasure. His behaviour has been such 
amongst us since, and was upon the late Revolution so kind 
to the Protestants by saving severall of their Goods in those 
times that I had offered [to] me the best bail the Protestants 
of this county afford. However the Proclamation being positive 
and no discretionary power left in us I would not bail him. 
Thank God we are not under any great f eare here for upon this 
occasion I have made the Constables return me a list of all the 
Inhabitants within this town, and we have not amongst us in 
the Town above seaven Papists and by the return made me by 
the High Constable there is not above one hundred and fifty 
Papists in the whole Barony. Favour me with an answer to 
this with the Governments pleasure therein. 

I am, your humble servant, 


The Council however was inexorable. Dawson's endorse- 
ment is "let him leave him for the present where he is." 

Coming south, the mayor of Drogheda, Henry Smith, writes, 
21st June, 1714, that he has taken sworn informations, and there- 
upon issued warrants against the priests and more especially 
against one George Peppard a Popish priest lately come into the 
kingdom. On the same date Edward Bond the sheriff of Armagh, 
wrote that he had made all enquiries but 

There was no information of any regular of the Popish clergy 
lately comd (sic) into this County or remaining in it. 

282 ULSTER. 

Perhaps the activity of the magistrates previously had some- 
thing to say to this. 

Armagh October 4 1712. 

Dear Cousin Upon the coming down of the Proclamation to put 
the law in force against Priests and others of the Romish Religion 
my Lord Anglesey was here to whom it was represented by my 
brother that there was in this County the Popish Dean of Armagh 
upon which my Lord Anglesey told my brother he would not 
do greater service than to apprehend .him. My brother told 
him that it would require ten or fifteen pounds to sett him. 
His Lordship assured my brother that he would get him that 
money from the Government if they were sensible it was laid 
out in that service. My Lord Anglesey went in a day or two 
after to view his lands in Tyrone and in that time my brother 
goes and takes this Pretended Dean who is ninety years of age, 
has been of a long time bed-ridd as they call it and in short has 
lost all his senses and is the most miserable wretch as he now 
lies in Gaol that ever was seen. This is so far from being a service 
to the Government (which I am sure will never countenance 
any Acts of Inhumanity) that it will doe very great disservice 
to Protestants abroad that live under a Popish Government for 
no doubt the Roman Catholicks abroad will have an account of 
this from their friends here and we, if in their circumstances 
would think such an act as this very cruell. Had this wretch 
been an active stirring man then I think the service had been 
good. Or even old and had his reason and even a Bishop he 
might have done mischief in ordaining Priests but in his present 
circumstances would rather be relieved than feared by any 
people in power. He has lain (to the knowledge of all the 
neighbourhood) within a musket shott of this town in a miserable 
condition and relieved as a reall object of Charity by all sorts 
of professions amongst us and when that was brought to him 
he was fed with it like a child, having turned a perfect Idiott. 
For God's sake, Cousin, if you have any influence over my Brother 
persuade him not to do such things for money which brings such 
an odium upon him and a reflexion to his family. For every 
body here does cry out upon him for it, and says it is the reward 
my Lord Anglesey promised to get, put him upon this, for that 
he might have taken this poor wretch every day this yeare past. 
I doe not think this creature can be proved to be a Dean, he being 
tried as I am told in Charles the Second's time and since the 
last war of Ireland for being one and both times acquitted. 

Your real obliged kinsman 
To Jos. Dawson, etc. THO. DAWSON. 

Incredible as it may appear this appeal fell upon deaf ears. 
The old man however miserable and idiotic, was a Popish dean 
and had as such continued in the country for fourteen years in 

ULSTER. 283 

defiance of the law. There was no condoning the offence. In 
jail he had to remain until five months later the end came. 

At an Inquest held the 13th of February 1712-3 upon the Body 
of Bryan McGork, Gentleman, Lying Dead in the Gaole of 
Armagh committed by Mittimus from Walter Dawson Esqr. 
one of her Majesties Justices of the Peace of the said County 
upon account being a Romish Dean. 

Gentlemen You are Dilligently to enquire how and in what 
manner Bryan McGork now being Dead in the Goale of Armagh 
came by his Death and make a true Verdictt thereof to me under 
your hands and seals. 

We present and find the above Deceased Bryan Magourk being 
committed by the above named Walter Dawson Esq. to the 
County Goale of Armagh did die his owne natural Death by 
age and Infirmity of nature. Given under our hands and seals 
this 13th February 1712 (twelve). 

Thos. Field William Neilson 

Thos. Reid . Patt Horld 

William Hamilton William Gunoll 

Rob 4 McConehy Hugh Blane 

Walter Master Bryan Hugh 

William Toole James McDonnell 

William Geough Jo. Fisher 

Copia Vera Will. English D.C. 

The foregoing was sent to Dublin Castle with the enclosing 


Armagh June 9 1713. 

Dear Cossin The 24th of September last in "obedience to the 
Government Proclamation I ceased doctor Brian McGurke 
popish Titular Dean of Armagh and had full information and 
witnesses to prove him such, and committed him to gaole where 
he continued till the 13 of February on which day he dyed as 
appears by the Coppy of the inclosed inquisition. 


He concludes by requesting payment of the 50 being the 
reward for capturing a Popish Dean according to the scale settled 
by the statute. Doubtless a Concordatum for payment issued in 
due course, for the service was a very notable one. 

At this period indeed so efficiently had the laws against 
priests been worked that Catholic worship in Armagh appeared 
a thing of the past. Accordingly the second stage of the move- 
ment for Protestanting the people was entered upon. 

284 ULSTER. 

When most of the popish priests of the kingdom refused to take 
the Oaths appointed by Law to be taken by them, they being 
thereby made incapable of officiating, My Lord Primate 
thought it might then be a very proper opportunity to endeavour 
the conversion of the Irish papists and to use all means to bring 
them over to the Established Church, and having communicated 
this intention to the clergy of the Diocese of Armagh they unani- 
mously agreed that no time could be more proper to begin the 
work than when (as was it thought) 'the popish priests would 
not by reason of the aforesaid incapacity any more officiate. 
It was the opinion of my Lord Primate and his Clergy that 
the most effectuall method for the conversion of the Irish would 
be to send some ministers of the Established Church amongst 
them who were well skilled in the Irish language to read the 
Scripture, Common prayer and to preach to them in the language 
they understood. To promote the good work the Lord Primate 
and his Clergy subscribed about 130 per annum for the support 
of such ministers and accordingly some who were thought 
sufficiently qualified were sent to preach, read prayers and the 
Scriptures and instruct the Irish Papists of the Diocese of Ardmagh 
in their own language and had rules and directions given them 
for their behaviour in their missions. These ministers on their 
first setting out found the Irish very well disposed to come 
and hear them and be instructed by them, and sometimes above 
200 persons have attended at prayers and sermons, and behaved 
themselves very decently with great attention and seeming 
devotion and did express great satisfaction for having prayers 
and the Scriptures read and explained to them in a language 
they understood and assured the persons sent to instruct them 
that they and a much greater number would attend them when 
next they officiate. The popish priests having notice of these 
proceedings did with great industry apply themselves to the 
natives and forbid them upon pain of damnation to goe any 
more to hear these ministers officiate and in a solemn manner 
published excommunication against them if they should so do 
and to prevent them attending these ministers in celebrating 
divine offices, the priests said mass in most of the parishes in the 
Diocese of Armagh and have by this means hindered the Irish 
papists from receiving the instructions designed for them and 
which they seemed so willing to receive and have by these 
methods rendered in a great measure the good design of 
converting the Irish ineffectuall. 

It was clear that until the country was rid of the priests all 
such missionary enterprises were doomed to failure. The following 
from the County Cavan was probably a surer way of getting at 
the priests than any rewards to informers however great : 

ULSTER. 285 

Co. Cavan. 

At a general Quarter Sessions for the Peace held at Cavan in and 
for the said County the 26 day of April An. Dni 1715. It was 
presented by the Grand Jury Impannelled and sworn at the 
said Sessions. That whereas the severall popish priests in the 
said County hereunder named and who was (sic) registered and 
entred into Recognizances that they or any of them should 
appear before the Government and Council at any time when 
required or summoned as may more fully appeare by a true 
copy of their Baile bonds annexed. 

Now for as much as the said severall Registered priests have 
neglected to come in to take the Oath of Abjuration notwith- 
standing summons and warrants have been often granted against 
them and they or any of them refusing to appeare and who 
shuns (sic) being apprehended by the said warrants. And for 
as much as by the tenour of their said Baile bonds or Recog- 
nizances their said severall Bailes cannot be obliged to bring in 
the severall priests as they became baile for unless due summons 
or legal proceedings offer from the Government or Council 
whereby to require the said severall- baile persons to bring in 
the severall registered priests and to issue such orders as will 
oblige the said priests to appeare either at the next Assizes or 
next General Sessions of the Peace to be held for the said County. 
And in case they should not appeare that due method might be 
used to estreate the severall Recognizances against the several 
Baile aforesaid. And humbly request that this presentment 
may be laid before the Government and Council. 

Examined per JA MAGRATH D. Cl. P. THO BAYLY cum Sociis. 

Recognizances taken by order of the Government before Charles 
Mortimer Esq. the sheriff of the said County the 16 day of April 
Anno 1708. 

No. Preist's Name. Parish for which they are Regd. The names of the Baile. 

/cognovit se debere Dom 
Reg in 100 

1. Edmund Magaghran Dromlone J Hugh Parker de Ardane 

] in Co. pred 50 

patk Clery de Rogerii 

I in Co. pred 50 

/Cognovit etc. 100 

William Small de Cavan 

2. Hugh Brady Dromgoone "\ in Co. p. 50 

Denis Brady de Cavan 

^ in Co. pred. in 50 

(Cognovit etc. 100 

Q r>u-iT T 11 -rr ! .Samuel Dyos de Cavan 

3. Phillip Tully Kelmore j in Co. pred. gen. in 50 

j Roger Smyth de ead 
^ gener in 50 



4. Patrick Brady 

5. Connor Reilly 

6. Bryan Reilly 


7. Dani ell Reilly 


No Preist's Name. Parish for which they are Regd. The names of the Baile. 

Cognovit etc. 100 

Johes Dunningan de 
Cavan in Co. pred. 
Driny -I gen. in 50 

Denis Brady de Cor- 
voggin in Co. pred. 
in 50 

Cognovit etc. 100 

Thomas Naully de Ca- 
Annagh \ van in Co. pred. in 50 

Terence Reilly de Kil- 
, duff in Co. pred. in 50 
'Cognovit etc. 100 

Edward Lernan de 
Cavan in Co. pred. in 

Johes Donegan de Cavan 
, in Co. pred in 50 
Cognovit etc. 100 

Connor Reilly de Drom- 
killy in Co. pred. in 50 
Phill. Reilly de Rallagh- 
an in Co. pred. in 50 
Cognovit etc. 100 

Chas Mcfadden de Quil- 
Moybolge { kagh in Co. pred. in 50 

Patk. McCabe de Lislea 
in Co. . pred. in 50 
f Cognovit etc. 100 

| Chas. Mcfadden de Quil- 
Killen ^ kagh in Co. pred. in 50 

j Edmd. Clery de Curkis 
[ in Co. pred. in 50 
Cognovit etc. 100 

Cornelius Donnellan de 
Virginia in Co. pred. in 


Garret fitzSimons de 
Corneduff in Co. pred. 
in 50 

Cognovit etc. 100 

Connor Reilly de Drom- 
kelly in Co. pred. in 
Kelbride <j 50 

Oliver Newgent de ffar- 
enconell in Co. pred. 
L 50 

8. John Garrigan 

9. Thomas Clery 

10. Mathew Shereene Monterconaght < 

11. Walter Dace 




Preist's Name. Parish for which they are Regd. The names of the Baile. 

" Cognovit etc. 100 

Alex. Johnson de Kelly- 
shandra in Co. pred. 

12. Patrick Sheridan Killyanagh 

13. John Smyth 


14. Edmund Degany Templeport 

15. Owen Doad 


16. Hugh Drum 


j in 50 

j Gerald Masterson de 
I eadem in 50 

Cognovit etc. 100 

Roger Smith de Cavan 
in cod Cornite 50 
James Smyth de Drom- 
hulla in Co. pred. 50 
Cognovit etc. 100 

Loughlin Smyth de Om- 
ard in Co. pred. in 50 
Thos. Reynolds de Corn- 
agunlen in Co. pred. 
in 50 

c Cognovit etc. 100 

j John Williamson de Ca- 
\ van in Co. pred. in 50 
j Thomas Harrison de 
I eadem in 50 

/Cognovit etc. 100 

| James Reilly de Dugirry 

Iin Co. pred. in 50 
Edmund Moris de Ned 
in Co. pred. in 50 

Examined per JA. McGRATH D. Cl. P. 

The years 1743-5 were marked by a recrudescence of perse- 
cuting zeal on the part of the executive. The officials responsible 
for the administration of the laws against priests, were required 
to furnish reports to Dublin. Proclamations were issued and the 
following instructions were sent to all sheriffs, mayors, magistrates, 

and high constables : 

Council Office 3 March 1743. 

Sir I am commanded by his Grace the Lord Lieutenant and 
Council to acquaint you that you are required to make enquiry 
within your jurisdiction and return with all convenient speede 
to the Council Board the name and place of abode of all persons 
being, or suspected to be Popish Archbishops, Bishops, Vicars 
General, Deans, Jesuits, Monks and fryars or other regular 
Popish Clergy, of all papists exercising Ecclesiastical! jurisdiction 
and the place of abode and names of persons with whom they 
reside or are reputed generally to reside. I am Sir your etc. 


288 ULSTER. 

Many of the reports still remain. Compared with those of 
earlier years they mark a distinct advance in the direction of toler- 
ation. The generation whose religious fervour was fanned by the 
passions of the Revolution had passed away and their successors 
were beginning to doubt whether in the Protestant plantation of 
Ireland Popery might not still flourish notwithstanding all the 
acts to prevent the further growth of it. Hence they faced the 
work of persecution in a more chastened spirit than their prede- 
cessors. The Registration acts and the acts requiring ecclesiastics 
to take the oath of abjuration were beginning to fall into desuetude, 
nay even the fact that certain persons were friars or reputed friars 
did not for the most part disturb the equanimity of government. 
Bishops and vicars dare not yet avow their office or appear in public 
but their existence in the country was acknowledged if deplored. 
From the replies sent in from different parts of Ulster, the" follow- 
ing are selected as showing the position of the priests in that 
province. The Sovereign of Coleraine writes from that town 10th 
March, 1743: 

I made the Enquire [sic] desired and find there is one John 
Brullaghan of Ballymenagh in the parish of Aghadoocy who 
is a Popish priest and I have heard that he is Titular Deane of 
the diocese of Derry. He and one Duffy his curate who has no 
fixed place of residence officiate in the parishes of Aghadoocy, 
Maiosquine, Killowen, and Dunboe in the fields, there being no 
mass-houses in any of the places where they celebrate mass. 


From Donegal came the following : 

Londonderry April 29 1744. 

Sir According to his Grace the Lord Lieutenant's directions I 
have made all the Enquiries I possibly could and find that 
there are [sic] a Popish Bishop of the name of Gallagher in the 
County of Donegal! and likewise that there is a Friary neare 
Ballyshannon but how many friars I cant give an exact account, 
and likewise that there are three friars in the Barony of Ennis- 
howen to wit ; Phillip McLoughlin in the parish of Moville and 
one James Murrey and one Carrolan in the Lower Part of Temple- 
more. This is all the information I gott from the severall 
Constables of the severall Baronyes and if I heare of any more I 
shall return them as directed. 

CHARLES MCMANUS, sheriff of Donegall. 

ULSTER. 289 

It is not to be supposed that the sheriff and barony constables, 
all good men and true Protestants, had allowed these friars and 
bishops to remain in the country willingly, and through kindly 
feeling. The fact was that systematic attempts to pursue priests 
in the trackless wastes of Donegal which at the time contained 
the solitary road between Ballyshannon and Raphoe would be 
disastrous. Josiah Hart the Protestant bishop of Kilmore, wrote 
to George Doddington, the Secretary, 4th March, 1734 : 

The Bishop of Raphoe acquainted the Duke of Dorset [Lord 
Lieutenant] this morning in the great room that the Popish 
Bishop having removed a quiet inoffensive priest and put a 
turbulent fellow in his place, Dr. Rogers had issued a warrant 
for apprehending him. As they were carrying him to the County 
Gaol, guarded by severall Protestants, some of them gentlemen, 
a great body of papists attacked them, wounded severall and 
arrested the priest. Letters from my own diocese are full of 
apprehensions that some mischief is brewing. 

In the more settled parts of the country ecclesiastics had to 
lie perdu. The Sovereign of Armagh, Edward Harcourt, writes 
10th March, 1743 : 

As Sovereign of this Corporation I have visited and searched the 
houses of the said town. I do not find that any papists exercising 
ecclesiastical jurisdiction live or reside or have any abode within 
said Corporation. 

On same date Thomas Clarke, Portreeve of Charlemont wrote 
that after careful search he could not discover anyone exercising 
popish jurisdiction. Fuller particulars were forthcoming from the 

sheriff of Tyrone. 

Mountjoy 30 March 1744. 

Sir I have made all the enquiries in my power into the situation 
and abode of the severall popish ecclesiasticall persons of this 
County and do not find that there are any of that stamp or 
persuasion under the character of Popish Archbishops or Bishops 
but one man reputed to be a Papish Vicar Generall. I have 
enclosed the most exact return. If I can ferrit out more of 
their names the same shall appear without loss of time. 


County of Tyrone. A Return of the Prests [sic] and ffryars. 
Termon McGurk James Murphy priest 

Of the same Thomas Feenan ,, 

Bellenasagart Enneas Dade [Doill ?] 



Patrick Donnelly priest 

Patrick Hagan ,, 

Eneas McDonnell 

Laughlin Hagan 

Tague O'Kelly 

Bryan O'Quinn 

Michael Doill 

Tague O'Corr ,, 

John Halfpenny ,, 

Bryan 'McGuire 

Patrick Granhams ,, 

John Rogers 

James Madden Vicar Generall 

Art O'Kelly priest 

Ross McCanne ,, 

John McCavill 

William Weldone ,, 

John McCrorey ,, 




Donaghmore and Carrenteale 


The same 



Ballenderry and Tamleh 






the same 





ffrancis McDonnell 

Patrick Quin 

Nicholas Keenan ,, 

ffrancis McCann 

Phellemy O'Neill 

Roger Cheevers ,, 

Murtagh McCann 

Anthony McCanvill ,, 

Christopher McConway,, 


From the same county we find : 

Strabane Mar 9 1743-4. 

Sir In obedience to the Command of his Grace the Lord Lieutenant 
and Council I have made all the inquiry possibly I could to inform 
myself of the number of the Popish Clergy of all ranks, and from 
the best of my Information which I am sure is true, there is not 
within this Corporation or settled neare it any Popish arch- 
bishop, bishop, vicar generall, dean, Jesuit, monk or friar. There 
is one priest who serves three parishes ; he lives in this town 
and his name is John McConally. If I can meet with any 
farder Information I shall be ready to communicate it. 


The reply from Belturbet was even more satisfactory to the 
executive ; John Jones, the sovereign of that town, wrote on the 
14th March, 1743-4 : 

We of this Corporation have not one Popish family in our liberties 
nor even in King James' time till we went all to Enniskillen. 

ULSTER. 291 

The high sheriff of the county, Samuel Moore, seems to have 
been well served by his spies. Writing 21st March, 1743-4 he 
states : 

The Popish Bishop of Killmore, known by the name of Clarke, 
lives in Dublin. The Popish Deane of Killmore, John Reilly, 
parish priest of Croseclogh, he lives at Drumkilly. The 
Vicar Generall, Hugh Duggan, parish priest of Killmore lives at 
Drumheel ; Duggan a frier lives with his brother the Vicar 
Generall ; Daniel Reilly a frier lives in the parish of Denn and 
lands of Knockekilly ; John McKernan, a frier lives mostly in 
the parish of Castlerahen, has no certain place of abode ; John 
Reilly a frier lives in the parish of Kelan, he has no certain place 
of abode ; Miles Reilly a frier lives mostly in the parish of Bally- 

Going north, the persecuting spirit as might be expected, 
becomes more marked. The Mayor of Carrickfergus, William 
Chaplin, writes 7th March, 1743-4 : 

I am well informed that none of the Popish clergy has any constant 
residence within the town or country of Carrickfergus but that 
priests from neighbouring parishes come frequently and 
celebrate mass to the Popish Inhabitants living amongst us, 
being about thirty families, in general very poor. You may 
depend on my fidelity in putting the Laws against Popery in 

The reports from the Counties Down and Louth are of unusual 
interest. Ross Moore, sovereign of Carlingford, writes 7th March, 
1743-4 : 

There are two popish priests who often officiate in this Corporation. 
Patrick Carrell who is priest of this parish lives three miles from 
this town at a place called Castletown Cooly, and Friar Mathews 
who is curate to Carrell, he has no certain place of residence. 
The titular Primate lives six miles from this at a place called 
Ballymascanlon where there is generally a great concourse of 
all kinds of popish clergy. As there is ten Papists for one 
Protestant in this County and the army ordered from us I most 
humbly request that his Grace the Lord Lieutenant will be 
pleased to order me about sixty musquets and some ammuni- 
tion which would be a means of keeping the Papists here in great 

The sovereign of Hillsborough, Edward Hill, writes 5th March, 
1743-4 : 

292 ULSTER. 

I must inform you that at present there doth not reside in my 
jurisdiction any popish archbishop or bishop. Lately a popish 
bishop did reside neare this place. But last year did leave it 
and as I am informed lives now somewhere near Lisburn. There 
do reside in a neighbouring parish within my jurisdiction one 
popish priest named Patrick Burn who lives in the house of his 
brother Edmund Burn, who serves the popish inhabitants of 
this and two other parishes. The papists in this county being 
not numerous or at least nothing in comparison of the Protestants. 
Of any other Popish persons exercising authority I know of none. 

William Murch, mayor of Dundalk, on 6th March. 

I herein send you the name of our reputed Popish parish priest, 
Nicholas Devin who lodges at the house of John Smith in this 
town. There was one Dominick Roddy a reputed friar who 
resided for some time here but has lately fledd. I should be glad 
to know if I ought to seize Devin the reputed parish priest and 
shutt upp the chappie. I had a Papist put into Gaole here for 
saying the Papists would rise and kill the Scotch meaning the 
Protestants, who will be tryed this Assizes. 

Four days later the high sheriff Trevor Banns, enclosed the 
following : 

A List of Regulars or reputed Regular Fryars in the County of 
Lowth March the 10 1743-4. 
Thomas Babe late of Dundalk now of Balinleragh. 
Hugh McConwell of Balimascanlan. 
Stephen Carney of Carrick Beggitt. 
Dominick Roddy, late of Dundalk. 
James Byrne of Knockbridge. 
John Stanly of Williamstown. 
Edward Drumgool, late of Dundalk. 
Anthony Mathews of Knokbridge. 
Patrick Mathews otherwise McMahon of Ardee. 
John Plunkett of Whiterath. 
John Taaff of Lowth. 
Owen Linnen of Bermeath. 
Bryan Row McMahon otherwise Bernard McMahon otherwise 

Bernard Ennis of Ballymascanlin reputed titular Archbishop 

of Armagh. 
Dominick Mathews of Cooley resides sometimes with Souten 

and sometimes with Terence Dullaghin both of Cooley aforesaid. 

The report from Drogheda is as follows : 

Drogheda 6 March 1743-4. 

Sir We have made the most diligent enquiry in our power and 
cannot find nor do we believe that any Archbishop, Bishop, Jesuit 

ULSTER. 293 

Monk or Friar or papist exercising any ecclesiasticall jurisdiction 
is now resident or lately or usually did reside within this town 
or county except those whose names are underwritten who 
lived in three separate houses by themselves in those parts of 
the town mentioned, but all dispersed not long before the issuing 
of the late Proclamation as we are informed into the Country 
and have not appeared here since. And we begg leave to acquaint 
his Grace and the Councill that the Grand Jury at the Assizes 
held this week have presented all the said severall persons under- 
named and the Court has ordered process against them which 
we shall use our utmost diligence to have executed whenever it 
shall be in our power. 

Besides the persons undernamed there is one Reilly the parish 
priest of St. Peters who hath resided here some years, and he 
hath an assistent whose name is McCabe. There is alsoe one 
Cusack the Parish Priest of St. Mary's who hath alsoe resided 
here many yeares. And these three persons we suppose may 
still be in the town though they did not appeare. 




John Donnelly Hiacinth Wattson \ 

Edward Watson, Owen Lennan I Reputed regulars or ffriars 

and James Sampson resideing in I of the Dominican Order. 

a house without the West Gate. ) 
Part Morgan John ffleming IBryan \ ted Regulars or feiars 

McCaraher and one McDamell * f August & ine Or der. 

now or late of Batchelors Lane. ) 

Bryen McMahon Patrick Reilly \ Reputed Regular ffriars of 

John Kelly and John Markey l - - 

now or late of Broadstone Well. 

The officials of the County Monaghan appear to have prosecuted 
their enquiries with equal success. Cairnes Haughtson writes from 
the town of Monaghan, 7th March, 1743-4 : 

I have enquired and do find that no popish priest has lived here 
for these great many years past but one Francis Duffy who is 
the popish priest of the parish of Monaghan. His residence was 
generally at one Mary Duffy's within the town but of late he has 
absconded and I am told is run away. 

The high sheriff of the county wrote 12th March, 1743-4 : 

I went round this County and have made the strictest enquiry I 
could about the Popish clergy, and send a list of them enclosed 
with the barony, parish and place of their abode. I think every 
Protestant ought to exert themselves. RICHARD GRAHAM. 



A List of the Priests etc. Returned by the Sheriff of the County of 
Monaghan : 









I < 






Kilknore and 








Priests Names. 

Francis Duffy Lived in the town of 
Monaghan until about the 5 of March 
instant, but is run away ; has a mass 
house neare Monaghan. 

James Duffy lives on the lands of 

James Murphy lives on the lands of Dram- 
shever, has a curate called Thomas 
Trenor who is a ffriar and lives in Iteriry 
and has a mass house. 

Hugh Moynagh called Vicar Generall of 
the Diocese of Clogher lives in Coole- 
darragh in Drumsnatt. 

Ross McKenna and Patrick Murray ; 
priest McKenna lives in Mullyodan, 
McKenna is harboured by Turlogh 
McKenna of Corclar McKenna, is re- 
puted a dangerous insolent fellow. 

James McKenna lives in Cloncane and 
has a mass house and a chappie of ease. 

The titular Bishop of Clogher Ross Roe 
McMahon otherwise Ennis lives in 
Corvally in the parish of Amatris. 
James Ward lives in Anaghgulgan lying 
in County Fermanagh, has a curate 
that stroles through the parish called 
Patrick Ruckagh McDonald both very 
dangerous men. 

James Clearkan, lives in Cornwall and has 

a mass house. 

Patrick McQuaid lives in Corleck. 
Michael Connolly lives in Aghnafin. 
Tole Connolly lives, in Kinturk 

Clontubritt Philip McArdle priest of the lower part 

lives in Carrickanure. 
Upper Clontubritt Pierce Duffy lives with one Charles Molloy 

and Muckno 


near Castleblaney. 

Patrick Brockagh Duffy and Owen Tray 
nor Duffy, has no residence but stroles 
through the parish. Trenor resides 
with one Patrick Roe Reddy. Duffy 
near Loghegie. 

Roger McMahon lives in Lisdoe. 


ULSTER. 295 

Parishes. Priests Names. 

Mahaross Patrick Ginor resides with one Richard 

Hand of Carrickmacross and has a 
curate called Patrick Boyland who 
resides with one Bryan Byrn of Lurgann. 
Dunamoine Patrick McCabe otherwise Freeman lives 

in Longfield, James O'Neill and James 
Cassidy are assistants. O'Neill lives in 
Shankaloe, Cassidy has no residence but 
stroles through the parish. Freeman 

>^ has a mass house \Added~\ Neill and 

S Cassidy are friars. 

Eniskeen Hugh McMahon otherwise Hugh Roddy 

lives in Ballyrush and has a mass house. 
Maghracloony James Callan lives in Dromboe. 
Killany James McMahon lives in Tullyultun in 

Co. Lowth. 

Dunamoine James Clinton a friar lives in Coas where 

a popish fryary or convent was lately 

For reasons that are obvious the laws against priests continued 
in active operation in Ulster down to a much later period than in 
the other provinces. Even in the beginning of the nineteenth 
century no "mass houses" would be tolerated in many localities 
still less would the landowners grant sites for the building of them. 
Fitzpatrick in his Life of Dr. Doyle, published in 1861, writes : 

The spirit of persecution and oppression lasted to a much later 
period than is generally supposed. The present venerable 
bishop of Raphoe Dr. McGettigan remembers going with his 
father to hear Mass at the side of a mountain in midwinter with 
the impending cliff protecting the worshippers from the in- 
clemency of the weather and where they were obliged to have 
two men stationed at the top of the hill watching lest the 
Puritans should come down and wreak their vengeance upon 
them. (I. p. 169). 

It might be supposed that in no part of the province would 
priests be more secure than in the Catholic barony of Inishowen 
to the extreme north of Donegal. In this peninsula shut in by 
Lough Foyle, the Atlantic and Lough Swilly, and furrowed by 
the Slieve Snaght and Scalp mountains, surely the law might be 
defied. Yet the local historian writes : 

In the parish of Culdaff there is a lone churchyard embosomed 
among the mountains and in sight of the ocean. In the centre 

296 ULSTER. 

of it stands an old church that was once Catholic. None have 
been buried there for the past forty-five years except the members 
of a few Protestant families who reside in the district. Opposite 
the church door is a broad slab of unpolished stone covering a 
vault. On one side it has fallen off the wall on which it rested. 
There is no inscription. Few, perhaps not four persons know 
who is buried there. It is the grave of a bishop, Dr. M'Colgan. 
He was consecrated in 1760 [probably earlier]. His predecessor 
had found it impossible to reside in the see and he found religion 
a wreck. Priests were few and of churches there were none. 
The ceremonial had disappeared ; the faith alone remained 
standing, it had taken hold in the hearts of the people when 
the hand of persecution was unable to follow it. For a number 
of years he performed the duties of the most hard-working 
priest together with those of the episcopal office. He married, 
baptized, heard confessions, visited the sick. His residence 
was a humble white-washed cottage at Muff, Donegal. Years 
rolled on and bright hopes began to dawn. But the hopes were 
disappointed. The bishop had already become obnoxious to the 
authorities. They found a ready instrument in a friar who 
some time before had been visited with canonical censures. 
For safety the bishop quitted his residence, the little cottage, 
and sought an asylum among the mountains of Carndoagh. 
He remained two weeks concealed in the house of a liberal and 
kind hearted Presbyterian named Joseph Campbell. The 
military soon discovered his retreat but he effected his escape. 
Fatigue and anxiety had already done their work. Two priests 
attended him on his death bed in Omagh in the year 1765 (vv}. 

(vv) Inishowen: Its History, etc. Deny, 1867. 



IN an angry controversy carried on between the Tory executive 
government and the Whig Corporation of Dublin towards 
the close of Queen Anne's reign, each party went as far as 
to accuse the other of conniving at Popery and permitting non- 
juring priests to remain in the country. Lord Chancellor Phipps 
seems at first blush to have had the best of the argument. Address- 
ing the Lord Mayor and Aldermen in January, 1712, he insisted 
on their " preventing public mass being said by priests not registered 
and that will not take the abjuration oath" ; and he charged them 
that the "negligence of the Dublin Corporation in enforcing the 
laws had produced great licence throughout the kingdom." But 
it must be considered that Catholicism had now no public, legal 
existence, and that a secret society is nowhere so safe as in a large 
city. The difficulties that the Dublin magistrates had in enforcing 
the laws were that they had to deal with peculiar conditions and 
with- sharper and better organised people. Priests living in obscure 
lodgings or sheltered in the houses of Catholic gentlemen, were 
not so easily located and identified as those who had to move 
about in the open country or to make their habitat in small towns. 
In point of fact when, more than once, Propaganda complained 
of bishops quiting their dioceses, they pleaded that their persons 
having become known in the country, they had to take refuge in 
Dublin. There where every member of the little congregations 
could be scrutinised and identified, they were comparatively safe 
from the active magistrate or the official spy. Within sight of 
the Council Office on Essex Quay, and under the shadow of the 
Castle, near St. Audeon's Arch, Catholic worship was long carried 
on. How this was possible we have a curious evidence still sur- 
viving. Every Dublin citizen is familiar with the Franciscan 
house on the quay opposite the Four Courts known as "Adam 
and Eve's." Few however know the story that lies behind the 
strange sobriquet. In the early eighteenth century there stood 


there on "the merchants' quay" a well known tavern over which 
hung the sign of "Adam and Eve." It was the common resort 
of the sailors and longshore men of the port. Mingling with these 
the Catholics made their way unobserved through the tavern to 
the little chapel of the friars which lay to the rere. And the 
effectiveness of these disguises may be judged from the fact that 
as late as 1732 when there was comparative toleration, a well 
informed Protestant pamphleteer discussing the relative proportion 
of Catholics and Protestants in Dublin was unable to state the 
number of chapels in the city (ww). 

As the secret of the chapels was well kept so the vicars-general 
and others exercising jurisdiction managed to conceal their identity. 
The decrees of a diocesan synod of Dublin in 1712 are still extant. 
In case these decrees should fall into the hands of the government 
the enactments are " by the authority of the clergy" ; those who 
transgress the "regulations" are declared incapable of discharging 
priestly duties; others are to be "deputed by the said clergy" 
and throughout there is not a hint of an archbishop living in the 
diocese. Certain persons indeed were suspected. At the banish- 
ment of the regulars and higher ecclesiastics in 1698 the name 
of Edward Byrne priest of St. Andrew's parish, was returned by 
the local parson as "supposed vicar generall." But no proof of 
the fact could be obtained and Byrne for nine years during the 
exile of Dr. Creagh continued to administer the diocese until 1707 
when he succeeded as archbishop. Consecrated secretly the clergy 
and people loyally sheltered him; the professional priest hunter 
even was long unable to discover who ruled the see. Tjnrrell 
conjectured that one Father Kennedy, an Augustinian friar, "dis- 
guised as one Jones" was the archbishop but the shot was a wild 
one. The first clue however was obtained in connexion with the 
transfer of some Galway nuns in which Dr. Byrne, and a Fran- 
ciscan named Burke were concerned. Informations were sworn 
and a hunt for the archbishop began to be actively prosecuted. 

Sir Having received some hint yesterday morning of Doctor 
Byrne's being in this county I gott ffolliot Shriegley and John 

(ww) Scheme of the Proportions which the Protestants of Ireland may 
probably bear to the Papists, Dublin, 1731-2. Halliday Pamph. R.I. A. 


Hackett Esquires two other Justices of the Peace to joyne 
with me and we issued our warrants and had a diligent search 
made in and about this towne, but upon further inquiry found 
by the Informations of severall persons that he had been within 
two miles of this towne on fryday morning last and was then 
on his way to Dublin. I thought myself bound in duty to give 
their Excellencies the Lords Justices and Council an account of 
this matter which I hope you will lay before their Excellencies 
in due time. Sir your most humble servant 

Wicklow Sept. 28 1712. THO THEAKES. 

After further search the trail in Wicklow being lost it was 
reported the archbishop had gone north. 

Dublin Castle 8 Nov. 1712. 

Sir The Bearer hereof Edward Tyrrell having informed the ' 
Lords Justices and Council that one Byrne the Titular Papish 
Archbishop of Dublin mencioned in a late proclamation is lately 
gone to Drogheda and conceals himself there, their Excellencies 
and Lordships have commanded me to signify their pleasure to 
you to assist the said Tyrrell in apprehending the said Byrne 
and to send such a number of men with him as shall be sufficient 
to take him, and to cause him- when apprehended to be committed 
to Gaole there to remain till thence delivered by due Course of 
law. I am your most humble servant 

To the Mayor of Drogheda. Jos. DAWSON. 

In vain however. No trace of his whereabouts could be got 
and the egregious Tyrrell now suggested a fresh search in the 

Wicklow hills. 

Wicklow 20 Nov. 1712. 

Sir I communicated your letter to Mr. Hackett and Mr. Allen 
Justices. Upon hearing what the said Tyrrell had to saye they 
joyned with me and gave me a warrant to search such houses 
and to apprehend such persons if they were to be found. The 
said Tyrrell did aver that att the present there was in Thomas 
Byrne's house one ffather Edmund Byrne and severall other 
priests from abroade and also at Redmond Byrnes of Kallaughler 
we would find one Captain Charles Byrne and fourteen more 
all officers and priests, all come lately from abroade. Upon 
which I raised guards of both foot and horse with all privacy 
imaginable and searched all suspected houses in our town and 
found none, and Mr. Allen and I Road to Redmond Byrnes in 
the Countrie and searched there also and found none. All which 
gave us no small trouble. I am etc. 


Escaped again ! For six months no further evidence of the 
hunt can be discovered until the middle of the following year when 


the wily ecclesiastic was said to be safe and sound in Dublin 
and in the house too of an alderman of the loyal, Protestant 


Council Office Dublin 16 May 1713. 

My Lord Their Excellencies the Lords Justices and Council 
having received information upon Oath that one Edmund 
Byrne Titular arch Bishop of Dublin and one Byrke a Fryer 
lately landed from France lodges (sic) at Alderman Reily's house 
in this City. Their Excellencies hav.e commanded me to signify 
their pleasure to your Lordship that you will with all the secracy 
and prudence that the necessity of the affair requires cause the 
said Byrne and Byrke to be apprehended and committed to 
Gaole and their papers to be sealed upp and sent to this Council 
Office and that your Lordship will give their Excellencies and 
Lordships an account of your proceedings therein. 

Your Lordships most humble servant 


To the Rt. Hon. Samuel Cooke Knt. Lord Mayor of Dublin. 

Whether the Lord Mayor as well as the Alderman was in 
collusion with the archbishop and gave him the hint to depart 
"with all the secracy and prudence necessary" does not appear, but 
the archbishop remained at large. Lucky however as he was, he 
was entrapped at last. In 1718 he was one of those arrested at 
the suit of Garcia, the Jew priest-hunter. With the others he 
was admitted to bail as the authorities were entirely unaware 
that he was the identical papal emissary who had long defied all 
efforts to catch him. Once out of their clutches he managed during 
the remaining five years of his life to govern the diocese undis- 

The difficulties in detecting unregistered and non-juring 
priests were almost as great. Recourse therefore was had to the 
machinery provided by the Act, 8 Anne, c. 3, sec. 21. A bundle 
of informations sent to the Privy Council by some officious magis- 
trates, show how this section was worked. A few are here given : 

Co. Dublin. 

The Examinacon of John Mitchell of Drumnee in the said County 
Farmer, taken before the Right Hon. the Lord of Santry. Thomas 
Stepney, Foliott Sherigley, Laurence Grace, John Jackson and 
Daniel Wybrants six of her Maiesties Justices of the Peace for 
the said County taken the 17th of June 1714. 

Who being duly sworn and examined saith that the last time he 
heard mass was a Sunday last at the town of Coolock in the 


said County but by whom it was said or celebrated he does not 
know. Saith that he has a son called James Mitchell and that 
the said James teaches the children of Mr. O'Hara who lives at 
Kinsale in the said County as school master, and that the said 
James was beyond seas for some time and returned into this 
kingdom about Christmas last past. Saith that he does not 
know of any Popish bishop or regular Popish clergy in this 
JOHN MITCHELL [bound to prosecute in the sum of] 40. 

The Examinacon of Robert Broghill of the Grange in the said 
County Gentleman, who being duly sworn on the Holy Evange- 
lists and Examined saith that the last time he heard Mass said 
or celebrated was on Sunday last at the house of Richard 
Talbott Esq. He knows not any person that was there present. 
That Mass then said or celebrated was by one Father Jones a 
Popish priest who lives in or near the town of Donebate in the 
said County. That he heard one Richard Jones lately taught 
or kept school at Malahide ; that he believes the said Richard 
Jones is a Papist or Roman Catholick ; knows not of any Roman 
bishop or Regular clergy man in this kingdom. 


James Fotterell of Grange of Baldoyle in the said County being 
duly sworn on the Holy Evangelists saith that he heard mass 
said or celebrated on Sunday last at Coolock in the said County 
by one ffather Cassady whose place of abode is at Mrs. Holly- 
woods at Artane in the said County. Saith that Darby Warde 
of Kilmore and James Walker of Coolock both of the said County 
were present, knows not of any Roman Bishop or regular Clergy 
in this kingdom. Heard that one Mitchell a Roman Catholick 
keeps a school at Kinsaley in the said County. 


Co. Dublin. 

The Examinacon of James Cuniham of Rahenny in the said County, 
Farmer, being taken before Daniel Wybrants, Foliott Sherigley, 
Richard Bolton, Edward Swan, Thomas Stepney and John 
Jackson six of her Maiesties Justices of. the Peace of the said 
County. Taken the 22 day of June 1714. 

Who being duly sworn on the Holy Evangelists and Examined 
Saith he heard mass said or celebrated on Sunday last by Father 
Cormack Cassady at Kilmore in the said County. Saith that 
Darby Warde of the same, and John Byrne of the same, 
Christopher Saver of Clontarfe were all present when the said 
mass was said or celebrated. Saith he knowes of no Popish 
Bishops or Regulars. Saith that he knows of no Popish school 

Bartholomew Doyle of Dunshoghlyn in the said County being 
duly sworn on the Holy Evangelists and Examined saeth that 


he heard mass said on Sunday last by one Father Scally in the 
Parish of St. Pargetts in the said County and saith that Patrick 
Fannin and Edmund Laoler of Dunshoghlyn aforesaid were 
present at the celebrateing the mass. Saith he knows of no 
Popish Bishop or Regular Clergy man of the Popish religion in 
this kingdom. Saith he knows of no Popish schoolmaster but 
one whose name he knows not who keeps school now in the Castle 
of Dunshoghlyn aforesaid. 

John Wade of Rathkenny in the said County being sworn and 
examined saith he heard mass said or celebrated yesterday at 
Rahenny aforesaid by Father Charles alias Cormack Cassady. 
Saith that James Smith and James Erwin of Rahenny were 
present. Saith that he heard mass said on Sunday last by the 
said Cassady at Darby Ward's house in Killmore in the said 
County. Saith that Darby Ward of the said place, James 
Fotterell, John Fotterell of Grange were by and present at the 
celebration of the said mass. Saith that he knows of no popish 
Bishop or Regular clergy in this kingdom. 


The further stages in the process against priests may be illus- 
trated by the following petitions, one before, the other after trial : 

To their Excellencies the Lords Justices and Council. 

The humble petition of William Dalton Parish Priest of St. Pauls. 

Sheweth That your Petitioner has been upwards of three [blank] 
closely confined in a Garrett in the White Sheafe among other 
Prisoners. That for many yeares past he has been troubled with 
the Gravell stone, shortness of breath and megrums in his head 
which dayly increases by his soe close confinement without any 
manner of ayre which has reduced and weakened your Petitioner 
to that degree that he will perish if not timely relieved as by 
annexed Certificate will appeare. 

That your Petitioner is a native of this City and has been upwards 
of twenty six years past in the same without giving the least 
offence to the Government. That he is willing to give such 
security for his appearance and good behaviour when required 
as your Excellencies and Lordships shall think fitt. 

May it therefore please your Excellencies etc. 

[Endorsed] The matter is already ordered in Council. 


I doe hereby certify that William Dalton priest is and has been 
for some years past afflicted with the stone and gravell in his 
kidneys and megrim in his head astma and other complications 
of pernicious symptoms all which if he is barred the benefit of 
air and moderate exercise will increase and prove of dangerous 
if not of fatall consequence. Given etc. 3 April 1708. 


To their Excellencies the Lords Justices etc. 
The humble petition of Francis Moore alias Murray. 

Sheweth That your Petitioner was tryed and convicted this 
present Michaelmas Term [1718] as being a popish priest not 
registered, exercising the office of a popish priest and was found 
in this kingdom contrary to Law and thereupon was ordered by 
the Court to remain in Gaole till transported out of his Majesty's 
dominions. That your Petitioner being willing to goe abroad 
rather than lye in Gaol and there being a shipp in this harbour 
goeing to Spaine or Portugall and ready to saile, applyed to the 
Right Hon. the Lord Mayor of the City of Dublin to take security 
for his transpertation but his Lordship refuses without your 
Excellencies orders. Your petitioner therefore humbly prays 
your Excellencies to grant your order etc. And he will as in 
duty bound ever pray etc. 

[Endorsed] To pursue the method usuall. 

Often the wretched priests were, kept months together in the 
loathsome prisons awaiting transportation. Their only remedy 
appears to have been an appeal to the Privy Council. 

Whereas we are informed that Charles Dempsey [parish priest of 
St. Bride's] and severah 1 other popish priests are now confined 
in New Gate and lye under the Rule of Transportation. These 
are therefore to direct and require you to cause the said Charles 
Dempsey and the other convict popish priests now in your custody 
to be delivered to such Merchant Owners or Masters of Shipps 
lying within the harbour of Dublin as are or shall be outward 
bound for any place or port not within either of the kingdoms 
of Great Britain or Ireland in order to their Transportation 
such Merchant Owner or Master having entered into a Recognis- 
ance of the Penalty of ffifty pounds for each of the said priests 
before the Lord Mayor of the City of Dublin with condition 
that such Merchant Owner or Master shall transport said priests 
into some place not within this kingdom or Great Britain. 

26 March 1713. J. DAWSON. 

To the High Sheriff of the City of Dublin. 

Henceforward for some years such entries as the following are 
occasionally met with : 

Order that Hugh Sheridan a Roman Catholic Priest in the Gaol 
of Kilmainham be transported to France within three months 
from this date. E. BUDGELL. 

12 May 1715. 

We hereby direct and require you to take effective care that Anthony 
Maguire convicted of being a Popish Fryar comming into and 
remaining in this kingdom contrary to Act of Parliament and 


ordered to be transported and also John White convicted unlaw- 
fully of marrying Benedict Arthur a minor under the age of one 
and twenty years to one -Catherine Hackett without the privity 
or consent of his father John Arthur Esq. and under the same 
rule of the said Anthony Maguire, be both of them transported 
to some port in Spain or Portugall out of His Majestys Dominions. 
Given the 7 day of August 1718. CHA. HADDOCKS. 

To the Lord Mayor of the City of Dublin. 

Francis Moore alias Murray. We hereby direct and require you 
to take effectuall care that Francis Moore alias Murray convicted 
of being a Popish priest now under a Rule of Transportation in 
the gaol of Newgate be forthwith transported to some Port in 
Parts out of his Majesty's Dominion, 25 November 1718. 

To the Lord Mayor of the City of Dublin. CHA. MADDOCKS. 

\Ve hereby direct and require you to take effectual care that Michael 
Murphy, James Dillon, Francis White alias Jones and John 
Brown convicted of being Popish Priests now under a Rule of 
Transportation and in the Goal of Newgate be forthwith trans- 
ported to some Port in parts out of his- Majesty's dominions. 
Given this 2 December 1718. CHA. MADDOCKS. 

To the Lord Mayor of the City of Dublin. 

Middleton, William [Archbishop of] Dublin, Shannon. 

We hereby require and direct you to take effectual care that 
Francis Comyn convicted of being a Papist Regular clergyman 
now under a Rule of Transportation and in the Goal of Newgate 
City of Dublin, be forthwith transported out of his Majesty's 
Dominion to Bilboa in Spain. Given 28 June 1723. 

To the Lord Mayor of Dublin. CHA. MADDOCKS. 

Sir Enclosed I transmit a warrant of Barnaby Lynam just now 
received from Alderman Trench. You will be so good as to lay 
it before their Excellencies, the Lords Justices and let me know 
their pleasure to what part out of his Majesty's Dominions their 
Excellencies think fit to order him to be transported. 
I am Sir etc. . NATH. KANE. 

Tholsel Chamber 13 Jany. 1734-5. To Thos. Tickell Esq. 

Wee hereby direct and require you to take effectual care that 
Barnaby Lynham a Popish Priest under a Rule of Transportation 
in the Goal of New Gate be forthwith transported to some Port 
in Portugal out of his Majesty's Dominions. Given 17 Jany. 
1734-5. THO. TICKELL. 

To the Lord Mayor of Dublin. 

Perhaps the last raid on the Dublin priests is that reported 
by De Burgo (Hibernia Dominicana, p. 175). 


On 17 February 1744 one Alderman William Aldrich with his 
Constables went secretly to the parish chapel of St. Paul's on 
the north side of Dublin (in which I myself was curate at the 
time), and finding Father Nicholas English celebrating mass, 
had him forthwith take off his vestments and sent him to gaol. 
Thence to the Dominican Convent where he 'arrested the two 
chaplains Dominick Kelly and Thomas Nolan. The rest of the 
priests of the city leaving their usual place of residence hid 
themselves, but one a Franciscan named Michael Lynch who 
was taken. 

When religious passions were simmering down and magistrates 
and others were not as zealous as became them, the executive put 
on a spurt. A special committee of the Privy Council was appointed 
29th October, 1716, to report "what methods they conceive to be 
the most proper to hinder any person from officiating as a preist 
or exercising ecclesiasticall jurisdiction in this kingdom contrary to 
law." They reported : 

We are humbly of opinion that on Sunday next (unless his 
Excellency the Earl of Galway shall think fitt to order it sooner) 
the Lord Mayor be directed to issue his warrants empowering 
and requiring the Constables in the severall parishes of this 
City to repaire to the severall mass-houses within the said City 
early in the morning to apprehend such popish priests whom they 
shall find officiating or celebrating mass contrary to the law in 
force in this kingdom. 

If the Lord Mayor find civil authority insufficient he is to call in 
Military Aid. 

Again : 

Sir There was no order of Council given to the Lord Mayor 
yesterday but a verbal one which he took in writing for his own 
security; it consisted of these articles. 

1. To search all popish houses for arms and ammunition. 

2. To apprehend all popish Archbishops, Bishops and other persons 
exercising ecclesiastical jurisdiction contrary to law. 

3. To seize all regulars and to Extirpate all Monasterys friarys 
and nunnerys. I am Sir your most humble Servt. 

Feby. 18 1740-1. JOHN LYONS. 

To John Potter Esq. 

In accordance with a ukase issued from the same quarter 
three years later some interesting returns were sent in. 

22 March 1743-4 Lord Mayor of the City of Dublin. Return of 
Popish Priests etc. 


DAVID TEW Dawson Street 22 March. 

In the parish of St. Andrews I can't learn that there is any Mass- 
house, Friery, Nunnery or Popish priest Frier or other person 
exercising or suspected to exercise any ecclesiastical jurisdiction. 
The titular Popish vicar thereof lives in Hawkins St. in the parish 
of St. Mark ; his name is Reynolds and under the title of Vicar 
of St. Andrews, he includes in his vicarages the parishes of St. 
Peters. St. Annes and St. Marks and is said to have seven assistant 
Curates, one whose name is Wall. 

In the parish of St. Marks, Mr. Reynolds who I suppose is the 
above mentioned, is Deemed the Head Popish priest who lodges 
at Mr. Redmonds in Fleet St. 

Mr. Fitz Patrick next to Mr. Reynolds who lodges at Mr. Dorans 
in Fleet St. 

Mr. Carrol another assistant priest who lodges at Mr. Mooneys on 
Lazers Hill. 

Mr. Doolen another assistant lodges at said Moonys. 

Mr. Quinn another assistant lodges at said Moonys. 

Mr. Wall another assistant lodges at said Moonys. 

Mr. Wall Junior another assistant I cant learn where he lodges. 

In the parish of St. Audeons there is a Dominickan Chappell into 
which there is one entrance from Cooke St. and another from 
Bridget St. I can't learn the names of those who officiate 
therein, or there are any Popish ecclesiasticks or any other 
Popish Friary, Nunnery or other persons exercising popish 
ecclesiasticall jurisdiction in the said parish. 

In the parish of St. John. There are not any popish ecclesiasticall 
persons residing, but there lately was Mr. Clynch who lived in 
Winetavern St. and was reputed Titular Dean of St. Patrick's 
whence he removed. 

In the parish of St. Pauls, I can't learn there are any Mass-houses, 
Nunnerys Friarys or any persons exercising ecclesiasticall juris- 
diction. Nor can I find any such persons who reside or have 
resided in the parish of St. Warburghs. 

In the parish of St. Mary's there is a Popish chapell in Liffey St. 
which is served by Mr. Linegar a reputed popish Bishop. His 
usual place of abode is Abbey St. and he is assisted by four or 
five other ecclesiasticall persons who come casually whose names 
and places of abode I can't learn. 

From the part of Dublin which lay outside the Lord Mayor's 
jurisdiction came a more satisfactory report : 

CHRISTOPHER ROBINSON Seneschal of St. Sepulchres. Has made 
a very strict enquiry and no reputed regular within the liberty 
nor a mass-house. 15 March 1743-4. 

Among the many papers relating to Dublin perhaps the most 
curious and valuable is an abstract of an examination of one 


Father Fitz Simmons, probably the same who subsequently became 
archbishop of Dublin. In 1751 some unfrocked priests made 
charges against the bishop of Ferns, Dr. Sweetman, as a foreign 
agent. Father Fitz Simmons was in some way associated with 
the bishop, and so the following is found among the minutes of 
the inquiry : 


Saw Sweetman in town last Whitsun Week whose business was 
to ordain. There was no extraordinary meeting then. Did not 
see Sweetman at the Archbishop (sic) of Dublin but saw him at 
his own lodging at Ignatius Kelly's. 

Did not see the Bishop of Ossory on that Occasion but did dine 
with Sweetman and him at that time. 

Priests are allways ordained here and it was allways the Practice 
but they go abroad after to finish their studies. Lonergan 
never had a Coadjutor neither had any of his Predecessors. 
Archbishop of Dublin has forty five parish Priests in his Diocese, 
each pays him a Guinea a year, and has St. Mary's Parish which 
is a very good one. 

Some Bishops have more Parish priests in their Dioceses. 

There are some Fryars. Does not encourage them but cannot 
prevent them, there not being a sufficient Number of Secular 
Priests, their Duties being heavyer than on the Protestant 
Ministers, and the Fryars assist in hearing Confessions. 

The Regulars have six Chappells and six or seven Fryars in each 
as near as [he] has known ; there may be some unknown to him. 

The Orders are Dominickans Franciscans Carmelites of two kinds 
Augustines and Capuchins. They live by Collections. The 
Provincial, if any, not resident. In one Respect they are under 
the Direction of Episcopacy as to forbid during Prayrs of any- 
thing offensive to Government. This they do upon a Lord 
Lieutenant's Arrivel and at that time are more private in their 
Devotions. No singing in the Evening Service and no Sermon 
in the Afternoon in any of the Chappells belonging to the Fryars. 
They have no Establishment, are all Mendicants. 

There are three Nunneries besides that in Channell Row but they 
are not Nunneries in a strict sense. Knows not the Superior 
in each. In one or two there are between twenty and thirty 
each, in another not above three or four. 

Fryaries, Dominican in Bridge St. ; one, John's Lane ; one, Ash 
St. ; one Church Street ; one, Cooke Street ; and one Worm- 
word Gate. 

Never heard that the Recruiting Service goes through the hands of 
the Priests, either in Dublin or elsewhere and would discounten- 
ance it. 

Was born in the City of Dublin. 


Does not know anybody that went over with Lord Taaffe but 
says a Gentleman was employed in London. Knows not the 
sum Collected except Dublin Collection and Sweetman's. The 
Dublin Collection was only in the City where there are fifteen 
chappells and each gave two guineas. Gave that money and 
Sweetman's which was all he received either to the then Lord 
Mountgarrett or to Lord Gormanstown. Knows not that Lord 
Taaff was concerned except in the Sollicitation here. Never 
asked what became of the money being a Trifle. Heard there 
was a Collection amongst the Layety besides that amongst the 
Clergy. Not all expended, and some refunded to those who 
contributed. Mr. Garvea in London employed to ffee Lawyers 
etc. Believes Lawyers were employed before the Councill but 
never asked particularly. The Superiors of the Chappells 
assembled and agreed to give said Contribution. Severall 
persons were appointed to collect among the Layety but knows 
not who they were. Knows not of any Collection in other Dioceses 
for the Notice was very short. Wrote to none of the Bishops 
except Sweetman, having no Correspondence with them. But 
if required the Archbishop would employ him to write. Knows 
a Collection was recommended this -year, a Bill being spoken 
of last Session to enable Roman Catholicks to take long Leases 
but no Collection made. 

Has six or seven Priests to assist him. There are about a hundred 
in Dublin. The Collections at the Door provided for them. 
A share of that Collection and some Emoluments make up 
about fifty pounds or sixty pounds a Year which is his Provision, 
and has some Exceedings (sic) upon the Chappell Rent. Micans 
his parish is numerous but small. Nicholas Without is the best 
parish, No Fee for Confessions being forbid. There are but few 
priests unemployed. Natives are allways preferred to assist. No 
Ordination these twelve years before. Fewer are now ordained 
than used to be, and severall of those who go abroade do not 
return. More do not go abroad for Education than used to do. 

Has been in Dublin since 1727 ; lived 7 years a Priest in London. 

Fryars are not increased in his Memory. 

Linegar [Catholic Archbishop] never visits. Has little Power over 
his Suffragans. 

The neighbouring county of Wicklow, ever the home of the 
outlawed, was also the theatre of active priest hunting. In 1708 
on the issue of a proclamation to put all popish priests under arrest 
William Hamilton, portreeve of Wicklow, writes to Dawson, 8th 
March : 

In obedience to the Government proclamation I this day seased 
(sic) the Popish priest and made diligent search in all popish 
places for horses arms etc. but found none. 


The magistrates generally appear to have enforced the laws. 
In 1716 Baron Pocklington at his return from the summer assizes 
in Wicklow was able to report to their Excellencies : 

I found in Wicklow Gaol Owen Mac Fee a Convict popish priest 
who says he will gett himselfe transported within a month. 
In that County they are not much troubled with Popish Priests. 
The Gentlemen gave me an account that they know of noe 
Popish schools. 

The high sheriff, Thomas Ryves, being asked why the priest 
had not been transported replied 30th October : 

Owen McFee a popish priest was the last Summer Assizes con- 
victed for saying mass in my County contrary to Act of 
Parliament and sentenced to be transported. And a warrant 
was directed to me for that purpose which remains unexecuted 
for want of shipping in the port of Wicklow or elsewhere in my 
County ever since the said sentence. 

If as seems probable the "Owen Mac Fee" was the "Owen 
Fee" registered for the parish of Ballymore Eustace in 1704, much 
credit could not be claimed for his capture. For the poor old 
convict was now seventy-two. Sometimes however the work of 
the magistrates was not unattended with risk. 

Wicklow 4 June 1702. 

Sir I have received severall complaints from the Inhabitants of 
this town that the Roman Catholicks have in the Libertyes of 
it, neere the Barracks, built a new mass-house, to which they 
resort in great numbers. The Justices of the Peace agreed not 
to allow of their meeting there any more. But this morning 
goeing to Church, I perceived them at mass of which I acquainted 
the Portreeve who ordered me to send a Sergeant and file of men 
to tell them they must disperse. They accordingly did but 
threatened to complain to the Government of it. 


Wicklow July 10 1702. 

Sir A fire broke out in this town and consumed eight houses. 
It began in an outhouse of Mr. Hamilton the Portreeve. By all 
circumstances it seems to have been fired on purpose by the 
Papists who very much seem to resent his officiousness (as they 
tearme it) in removing them from their Mass-house. Since 
when, as I am informed, they have mett every Sunday (after we 
are at Church) in the very middle of the town. 


As commanding officer of the troops he asks for instructions 
in case they should attempt to assemble in the town again. What 


the secretary's reply was we have no means of knowing. That 
gatherings of the people for religious worship were often dispersed 
by force appears from a letter of Ryves, the high sheriff, to Dawson, 
7th June, 1714, in which he states he raised a posse 

to suppress a Riotious Assembly of Papists at the Seven Churches 
to pay a superstitious worship to St. Kevin, being accompanied 
by severall Justices of the Peace and a great number of the 
Protestant inhabitants well mounted but very badly armed. 
On the approach of our force the_ rioters immediately dispersed. 
Wee pulled down their Tentes, threw down and demolished their 
superstitious crosses, destroyed the wells, apprehended and 
committed one Tool a Popish school master. The Protestant 
Inhabitants of this county are unanimous in their inclinations 
and resolutions and will exert themselves with all diligence and 
zeal for her Majesty's service in putting all the laws in every 
respect strictly in force against the Papists. 

The commendation which the learned judge gave the Wicklow 
magistrates was deserved even long after. 

- Wicklow 8 March 1743-4. 

Sir After a strict enquiry I can't find that any Popish clergy 
whatsoever are resident within our jurisdiction. The Parish 
priest or reputed Popish vicar of Wicklow is Denis Doyle and 
resides at his own house on the lands of Ballycullen about four 
miles from Wicklow and has not officiated this fortnight past. 
His assistant Sylvester Doyle lived with him at his house but 
I am informed he has turned him off. There was one Patrick 
Cawlin a reputed friar who some time agoe frequented this 
neighbourhood but of late has disappeared. I can't learn that 
he had any settled place of abode but strolled from one place 
to another. GEO. DEACON, Portrive. 

To J. Lyons Esq. 

Passing on to Wexford the earliest document of this period 
met with is a transportation order under the Act 9, William III. 

Wexford 11 March 1701-2. 

Sir Pray give my most humble respects to their Excellencies 
and let them know that I have caused three stakling (sic) seamen 
to be secured and sent to Corke. Move their Excellencies that 
the fryers in the annexed Certificate may bee transported. They 
doe mischief here. 


I do hereby certify that at the general Assizes and general Gaol 
Delivery held at Wexford for the County of Wexford the 3rd 
day of April 1699 Redmond Murphy and Anthony Molloy were 
at the said Assizes Indicted for that they being Regulars of the 


popish Religion and continues (sic) in this kingdom contrary 
to the Act of Parliament intitled an Act for Banishing all popists 
Exercising ecclesiasticall Jurisdiction and all Regulars of the 
popish clergy out of this kingdom, in contempt of our Sovereigne 
Lord the king the 10th day of June in the Ninth year of his 
Maiesties Raigne att Eniscorthy and in Divers other places in 
the said County and they being putt to their traverse, they denied 
the fact and a Jury being Impannelled and sworn to try the 
said traverse they find them guilty. Whereupon the Court 
ordered that they should be and Remaine in the County Gaole 
without Bayle or maine prize untill they be transmitted according 
to the statute. THOMAS HAKERS D.Clk. 

This seemed explicit enough, but in point of fact Redmond 
Murphy one of the friars, was kept in Wexford prison for more 
than eight years before he was transported. The authorities 
often were in no hurry to transport convicted priests. In the 
time of William III. it will be remembered the German ambassador 
intervened to mitigate the punishment of imprisonment to the 
milder one of transportation. In 1723 we find an instructive 
instance of a similar kind in W^exford. An Augustinian friar 
named Francis Comin had been convicted of coming into the 
country contrary to law. He waited several months in Wexford 
jail in the hope of transportation but at length managed through 
some of his brethren to interest the Spanish ambassador in his 
case. The Duke of Grafton wrote from London, 5th February, 
1723, that the Marquis de Pozobuero, Spanish minister in England, 
had made instance in the name of his Catholic Majesty to have 
Comin admitted to bail. The Lords Justices are therefore to make 
enquiry into the grounds of his committal and transmit a state 
of the matter to be laid before the King. It would appear however 
that Comin 's offence was too enormous for bail. On the following 
26th March Lord Carteret, the Foreign Secretary, wrote to the 
Lords Justices: "His Majesty would be informed whether it 
would be of any ill consequence to permit Comin to transport 
himself to Spain." The same year we find two more friars 
transported from Wexford. 

Middleton, William [King Archbishop of] Dublin, Shannon. 
We hereby direct and require you to take effectual care that Jasper 
St. Laurence and John Killarna both convicted of being Popish 
Regular Clergymen now under a Rule of Transportation and in 


the Goal of Wexford be forthwith transported out of his Majesty's 
Dominions to Bilboa in Spain. Given 24 June 1723. 
To the Sheriff of Wexford. - CHA. HADDOCKS. 

How far the Wexford magistrates emulated their Wicklow 
brethren in enforcing the laws against secular priests does not 
appear. Tyrrell, the priest catcher, in one of his visits to the 
county complained of their not assisting him. 

To J. Dawson etc. 

Most honord Sir Send an order down in relation of commanding 
assistance as it was to Mr. Mone at Captain Starling. Direct 
to James Stopford Esq. at Kilbride near Gory. There is a 
management here to prevent my Designe, which shall appear 
before the highest power. You know my meaning. I doe not 
enlarge further till I see your selfe. All their roguery again me 
shall not prevent what I under took. 

Your hons. most humble servt. 

Gory 22 Dec. 1712. E. TYRRELL. 

The ill success of this expedition was attributed by Tyrrell 
in a letter to Dawson, 10th January following, to the "ill manage- 
ment of some of the Justices of the Peace." That others were 
active enough would seem from a letter of Colonel Edwards, 18th 
June, 1714. He has succeeded in taking, he says, Michael Downe 
a popish priest, and adds "the mass-house of Ross is ray Id up and 
the key left with the Suffrein." 

Of the magisterial proceedings in 1744 there are ample 

Wexford 6 March 1743-4. 

Sir I send you in the back side hereof the names and residences 
of the popish ecclesiastics in this Corporation as far as they have 
come to my knowledge on the strictest enquiry. 
The popish Bishop of Ferns passes by the name of Dr. Ambrose 
Walker but his true name is Ambrose Calahan. He is a person 
who has lived many years in Italy and France and came to 
reside in Wexford about ten years since, having built a dwelling 
house adjoining the Friery and Mass-house which Mass-house 
is as handsome an edifice as any perhaps of that kind in Ireland. 
The Friery and Mass-house are built on the foundation of an old 
monastery and is now the estate of Arthur Neville Jones Esq. 
I am told this Gentleman or his father renewed the lease to a 
trustee one Mr. Sutton who took it for the use of the clergy 
and the public service of their religion and this was done before 
the registration of the former lease for which reason some gentle- 


men of my acquaintance talk much of filing a Bill of Discovery 
and when the premises are recovered to fitt them upp for a 
Protestant Charter School which might be done without any 
great expense and would be very commodious for that purpose. 
The Popish clergy from severall parts of the County often meet 
at this Convent. I having asked two of them whom I know 
what was the occasion of so many of 'em in town. They 
announced that they came there once every year to an Enter- 
tainment at the Friery and would not acknowledge any other 
business than that of feasting. I fear I shall be thought prolix 
and can only tell you they are all this fortnight past fled and I 
know not whither. 

1. Ambrose Walker alias Calahan Bishop of Ferns, his residence 
the Friery. 

2. . Rea Guardian of the Friery. 

3. . Nowlan a frier. 

4. Nicholas Sweetman priest of the town. He lodges with John 
Murphy shop keeper in the Back street. 

5. . Walsh assistant to Sweetman, lives in his own house in John 

6. . Synot officiates in and about the town but he yett got no 
parish. Lives with his father James Synot near the Gaole. 

Besides these there are severall strangers who frequently stay 
three or four months at a tyme in the Friery and are supposed 
to be regulars who came here from other counties upon their 
own secret affairs. WILLIAM HARVEY, Mayor. 

The reports from the other towns follow : 

Sir This town is too small to have or entertain in it any of the 
regular clergy or Popish Bishops. But I have given under- 
neath an account of the Popish parish priests that celebrates 
(sic) mass here and likewise of severall other popish priests 
within six miles of the town. 

Mathew Casey Popish priest of Gorey, lives at Tinnock at his 

Henry Masterson Papish priest at Ballyhast with Morgan Darcy. 

Edmund Dempsey Popish priest at Knockneskagh with his Brother. 

Martin Cullen Popish priest at BaUydean with his Brother Red- 

Nicholas Collier a priest without a parish at Anagh with an old 

Nicholas Nevil Popish priest at Ferns generally at the house of 
Patrick Doyle of the same place. 

. Carr Popish priest at Coolgrany in the Great public House. 

. Morgan Popish priest at or near the same place. 

Gorey March 10 1743-4. ABEL RAM. 

It is computed that there are ten Papists for one Protestant in 
this County. 


Sir In obedience to his Grace the Lord Lieutenant's command I 
send you an account as well as I can collect of such chappels 
and the priests arid Friers thereunto belonging as are in this 
town. J. LEIGH, Sovereign. 

Ross 5 March 1743-4. 

One Parish chappel, James Nowlan parish priest and residing in 
his chappel. 

One other Fryery or chappel, Joseph Rossiter, Martin Conner and 
Joseph Cannon friers or Priests and reside in said fryery. 

Taughmon 10 March 1743-4. 

Sir I find that in the Town of Taughman there is one Publick 
Mass-house and no more which Mass-house I have caused to be 
locked up and no admittance into it in the shape of the Popish 
(or any other) worship. I also find that there is one Patrick 
Redmond who is looked upon and allowed by the Papists here 
to be a Popish Clergyman in the Mass-house of Taughmon. 
His place of residence (as I am informed) is at one James Redmond 
a brother of his at Harveystown in the parish of Taughmon 
and about a mile distant from the town. As to any other Popish 
clerg37men I don't find any. WILLIAM HORE, Portriff. 

Enniscorthy 10 March 1743-4. 

I have made strict enquiry for any Popish archbishops, bishops etc. 
I find none to have officiated here but one Patrick Furlong a 
reputed Popish priest who lives at Monast, two miles from this 
town and left his home about a week before the Proclamation 
came out. These is one Ambrose Walker alias Callaghan a 
reputed Popish Bishop comes here sometimes but is often at 
Wexford, whom perhaps the Mayor of that town can give you 
some account of. JAMES COOKMAN 


From these returns it will be seen that apart from occasional 
outbursts, the persecuting spirit was dying out. But this spirit 
was often quickened and renewed by the malice of false brethren. In 
1751 some unworthy priests had saddened and scandalised the diocese 
of Ferns. To conceal the exercise of episcopal jurisdiction an instru- 
ment was signed jointly by Nicholas Sweetman, Nicholas Synott, 
William Devereux, and Thomas Broders on October 31st, ordering 
all the parish priests of Ferns to denounce from the altar and declare 
excommunicate and accursed by God and His holy Church, James 
Doyle, Nicholas Nevill, and Nicholas Collier ; this denunciation to 
be repeated on three successive Sundays. The particulars of the 
charge made against them may be gathered from the case of Doyle. 


Whereas James Doyle, priest of the Diocese of Ferns who entered 
clandestinely into Holy Orders in virtue of pretended or false 
Dimissories which made his Orders stolen and irregular has 
ever since been a perfect plague to his diocese by being at variance 
with every superior he had, and by many and enormous crimes . 
for which, sentence of Excommunication was solemnly pro- [[ 
nounced against him on the 28 of June, [and whereas he did] 
wickedly and rebelliously exercise Pastoral Functions under 
said Excommunication, and treating the Rev. Mr. Patrick Synot 
(who was appointed to serve the district of Templeshannon) 
with violence, scurrility and disrespect, and for beating said 
Rev. Patrick Synnot treacherously and enormously on 3 Septem- 
ber 1751, he is hereby deposed from all ecclesiastical benefices etc. 
in the Catholic Church etc. 

The wretched man, Doyle, now thought of taking advantage 
of the PoperjT- Acts. Getting into communication with Dublin 
Castle he charged the bishop, Dr. Sweetman, with being an agent 
for enlisting men for foreign powers and with levying money on 
his priests 'for treasonable purposes. A warrant for the arrest of 
the bishop was forthwith issued by the Lord Lieutenant. 


Whereas we have received information that certain treasonable 
practices against his Majesty and his Government are at this 
time carried on in and about the town of Wexford by Nicholas 
Sweetman Titular Bishop of Ferns and divers other persons 
whose names are unknown who resort frequently to the house 
of the said Sweetman in Wexford aforesaid. These are to 
direct and require you to repair forthwith to Wexford and there 
make strict and diligent search for said Sweetman, and him 
and any other persons whom you shall suspect to be concerned 
in the said Treasonable Practices having found, you are to seize 
and apprehend together with their letters and papers which 
you are carefully to examine and mark in such a manner that 
you may be able to swear to them hereafter if occasion should 
be and to bring unto us to be examined and further dealt with 
according to law. And you are hereby further directed to seize 
the Persons and Papers of James Doyle a reputed popish priest 
living near the said town of Wexford and bring him and his 
papers before us to be examined touching the said practices. 
All Mayors Sheriffs Justices of the Peace etc. to aid and assist. 
Given this 29 day of November 1751. GEO. SACKVILLE. 

To Lieut. Col. Dunbar. 

Luckily for the bishop some friendly Protestants were able 
to get at the truth. 


Ballenkeele December 4 1751. 

Sir I beg to acquaint you that Mr. Sweetman of Wexford was 
taken into custody this day by order of the Government and 
is to be carried to Dublin tomorrow to be tryed, as we hear, for 
listing or endeavouring to list men for foreign service and raising 
money for that purpose. If there are any examinations of the 
kind, you'll find that our neighbour James Doyle, the degraded 
priest, was at the bottom of it, who, I think is capable of con- 
triving as wicked a thing as any man living. He has often 
threatened that he would be revenged if he was not admitted to 
enjoy his parish quietly. It may be a particular good fortune 
for the poor Prisoner that you, Sir, in some means know his 
character and likewise the character of the supposed prosecutor. 

It would be a great blessing to the public if the same punishment 
should be inflicted on perjury that is on felony. Mr. Doyle is 
abandoned by his own Church, can find no refuge there and has 
I suppose found some scheme to himself of getting bread whjph 
will gratify his malice. I am convinced that Mr. Sweetman 
was never directly or indirectly guilty. Yours etc. 

To Sir Arthur Gore. EDWARD HAY. 

The bishop as would appear, was examined by a committee 
of the Privy Council. As a specimen of a rare and at one time 
almost extinct species in Ireland, he was doubtless regarded with 
curious interest, and hence the inquiry took a much wider scope 
than the circumstances warranted. The minutes of the examina- 
tion are valuable therefore for the general light they throw on this 

obscure period. 

That he was in Dublin the latter end of last May or beginning of 

June, then saw Linegar the Titular Arch Bishop of Dublin. 

No person of rank then in their company but one. 
Said that he came to ordain eleven or twelve young men for the 

Archbishop who is a very old man and not able to do it himself. 

Said he ordained for his own diocese about three months ago. 
Saw severall priests and friars in town. Nothing then transacted 

but the Ordination. Saw the Archbishop twice or thrice, and 

remembered nobody with them but the Bishop of Ossory. 
Knows two or three Synnotts. 
Knows the Parish Priest of Castleislish who is Vicar Generall of 

his Diocese. 

Did not order him to summon the Clergy of the Diocese. 
Had severall meetings about Doyle but no other. Such meetings 

he called plain meetings to have the advice of his Priests for the 

exercise of his Function. 

Did not denounce Heretics or Excommunicate except for Dis- 
obedience, particularly Doyle and one Hagan. Did not abuse 


him, and Hagan practiced physick without License. Excom- 
munication ordered against them if they did not leave the Diocese. 

Knows not of any Curse on the people if they should tell what 
passed that day. 

Knows not particularly the Parish Wards. 

Did not hear of any Spies nor say anything of such at the meeting. 

Does not remember any meeting after his return. 

Walter Pay, Miles Granell and Hugh McDough Franciscan Friars 
at Wexford. Pay has been there nine or ten years, Granell 
two years and McDough as long. 

Their Superior Guardian appoints them Guardian is Superior. 
There are six or seven Friars more, two of them near Clonmines 
near Colonell Colcloughs, two or three in Ross, one of one order 
and two of another. Two have a house the other a lodging. 

There are three or four different orders, Franciscans, Carmelites 
and Augustinians, these are all priests. 

Says that he has no jurisdiction over them except on certain 
occasions about which they dispute. There is one in Wexford, 
a lay brother, never to be ordained, as assistant in the house. 

Belives there may be six fryaries in Diocese, the friars all of this 
County. Says he has two clergymen who help him to take 
care of his parish. 

In his parish some give him 5 5, some 1 1 some 6|d. In some 
parishes the priests only get corn and other little things. Col- 
lections of Sundays is for the priest. In his parish he gets half 
the collection and the priests the other half. He has thirty 
two parishes. They give him a guiney each at the distribution 
of Oyles, has not above 40 a year from the parish, of which he 
gives one third to the coadjutor. The collection at his chapel 
door is about 16 a year. This is the best parish in his diocese 
yet not above 40 a year, and some accidental things about 10 
a year. Common parishes worth about 30 or 35 a year and 
when he was a priest one year 30, second year 34, third year 
42. And they have all Dependents. 

He knew Hennessy some time ago who is a very old man. Hennessy 
was never at his house but he was at Hennessy's last summer. 
Only a visitation. Says he believes he was provinciall of the 
Jesuits but is not now. This man used to give letters of recom- 
mendation to Spain where there are Foundations for students. 
Only meat, drink and clothes given to them and stay there but 
six years. Says he was ordained in Spain. 

Says it is not unusuall to ordain Irish here. Generally abroad. 
The King of Spain took some of their houses. They learn 
humanity at home, but few learn Greek. 

Hennessy was a Clergyman of Distinction. 

Fitz Gerald reputed head of the Jesuits and was at Waterford 
last summer. One Jesuit in his Diocese not settled. 

Would discourage these Externs if he could. 


Mr. Hervey's meaning of certificates was about marriages as 
Parish Ministers. That Banns were published in Church and 
Fees paid. 

During the last Assizes the three friars were with him in Wexford 
but nobody else. The friars have no bed for any strangers. 
That fryary established before he was born. 

His chappel was theirs which with the collection at the door 
occasioned the Debate. 

Never rings a bell but at the Altar. 

No Irish officers that he knew of at the Assizes, but last New 
Year's day one Geoghegan and one Sarsfield in Lallies Regiment 
were in Wexford. Has not heard of them since except that 
Sarsfield marryd ill. Does not know their business. Says that 
Sarsfield said he came to demand Justice against his Brother. 
Has not heard anything of them since. 

Never was privy to any recruiting. 

None of them to his knowledge were in any of the Priests houses. 
The last Recruiter he heard of was Collonel Fitz Gerald about 
twenty years ago. The collection of money made about six 
or seven years ago was about an Act of Parliament then made. 
The collection in his Diocese was 24. Some of the Roman 
Catholicks in his parish made him think of the Collection. He 
remitted the money to Mr. Fitz Simons, priest of St. Marys 
parish, Dublin, who had wrote to him and afterwards 
acknowledged the receipt and said it had been applied as was 
intended. But one of the Acts was against forreign education 
and that the money was to defray the expenses of persons who 
went with Lord Taaffe. Afterwards saw Fitz Simons at Kelly's, 
the stationer. Did believe the dropping that Act was owing 
to those sollicitations. Never got any account of the money. 
Never heard what the sum collected through Ireland was, knows 
not whether all was paid to Fitz Simons. Saw him when last 
in Dublin but asked him no questions about the money. Did 
not know how otherwise that money was to be disposed of. 
Never heard of it. The second collection intended against any 
Acts to be made this winter, but nothing collected as no such 
Acts seemed to be proposed. Did not know what they were to 
have been. 

Sometimes they make charitable collections. 

Knows Michael Connon parish priest of Ferns. 

Did not know of any Irish officers with him. 

Did not hear of any Captain Sullivan being here but heard of his 
being in the Rebellion. 

M. Connon was once a School Master, marryd, went abroad a 
Priest and returned in three or four years. Never heard of him 
inlisting men and had it been, believes he should not have been 
made acquainted with it except he should heare it in common 


Saw him about five weeks ago at a funerall. Believes that if he 

did inlist, he should not have Intelligence. Would give notice 

to the Government if he knew of such Practices. 
The friars have no arms as he believes. 
There are twenty four Bishops and Archbishops. Leighlin and 

Kildare go together. Archbishops cannot visit without an 

Order from the Provinciall Council. No Provinciall Council in 

his time or many years before. 
Linegar has been Archbishop eighteen years. Reilly is primate. 

Never saw him nor had any correspondence with him. Knows 

Butler Bishop of Cashel and Emly the old Gentleman. Does 

not know the other his Coadjutor. 
Coadjutors are appointed by the Pope. 
Has been twenty six years parish priest. Made Bishop in 1745. 

Dr. Walker his predecessor. 
Fryars in general increased considerably. Knows not the reason. \ \ 

None but vagrant fryars itinerant. Provincial can suspend them, I \ 

excommunicate them and order corporal punishment. 
A Provinciall to each Order. 
Believes they meet in Dublin. 
Provinciall accountable to their Generall. 
Corresponds with the Nuncio at Bruzelles on any dispute, he having 

the Jurisdiction here. His name is Crivelli. He sends his 

Answers in Lattin. 
The Pope appoints all Bishops which is sometimes on a postulation 

from the priests of the parishes. 
Applications to the Pope are sent to the Nuncio or some friend 

Was consecrated by Linegar. Linegar has no coadjutor, but 

Fitz Simons, Vicar General, acts and Mr. Clinch. 
Unknown to him there could not be any number of foreign officers 

in the country. Says the 3 fryars are well behaved. Their 

provision is half the Collection and what they get by begging. 
Was made Bishop on a postulation. 
Had no intimation of the Rebellion [1745] or relating to it. The 

priests did tell one another what news they met with but did 

not know any 'that had a correspondence abroade. 
M. Cannon did write to him when his Predecessor dyed that he 

would serve him, but did not write neither did any body else 

write to him about State affairs. 

This examination created such a favourable impression that 
the bishop was forthwith released. 


We hereby direct and require you forthwith to discharge out of 
your custody Nicholas Sweetman And for so doing this shall 
be your Warrant. Given 21 December 1751. GEO. SACKVILLE 

JAMES BUTLER Esq. Pro. Mar. General. 


In Kilkenny just as in Wexford and several other counties 
the magistrates though never so willing, confessed that without 
adequate military support the popery laws were impossible of 
execution. In 1708 when the proclamation came down author- 
izing them to summon before them all Catholics of position to 
take the Oath of Abjuration, Adam Haydock, Mayor, and the 
Aldermen replied (3rd April) : 

The Protestants of this City I may say are but a handful in 
respect of the Popish inhabitants who will not take the Oath 
of Abjuration, it being refused by the cheife of them though 
tendered by rne. And without the City we are in a way sur- 
rounded by that inveterate and implacable enemy. Therefore 
I do entreate that arms and ammunition may be sent as also 
the Commissioners of Array. 

This complaint would soon seem to have been removed for 
four years later the mayor wrote in a more confident tone : 

Kilkenny 27 September 1712. 

Sir According to the orders and decrees of Proclamation I pro- 
ceeded and this morning I sized (sic) a priest who ownes himself 
to be one and that he has left France about fourteen months 
agoe ; he calls himself Mahir and sometimes he is called ffather 
Michaell. I cannot gett him to speake much which I take to 
be a Cunning in him. I have it from my good hands that above 
thirteen priests from France, Portugall and Spaine, has (sic) 
been lately in this towne but cannot learne what has become of 
them. Nor did they appeare in the day time. I do not wondr 
that I missed of them for they had a printed proclamation to 
leave before I had mine and they had all sorts of news much 
sooner than the Magistrates. The Mayor elect will be sworn 
on Munday next. Pray let him know the Government Com- 
mands concerning ffr. Michell Mahir. 

To J. Dawson. WILLIAM BAXTER, Mayor. 

[Endorsed] to keep him in Custody, to be prosecuted according to 

The -secrecy which the mayor took to be "a cunning" was the 
great difficulty his successors also experienced in dealing with 
priests. On 7th June, 1714, Thomas Blunt, Mayor, writes to 
Dawson that he has issued warrants in accordance with the Act, 
8 Anne, c. 3, sec. 21, to the "most noted of the Papist Leaty" of the 
city compelling them to appear before him on the 9th inst., and 
give evidence when and where they were last present at mass and 
who celebrated it. On 12th June the Mayor and Justices of the 
city relate the result. 


They met and expected severall of the Popish inhabitants who 
were summoned. Yet only one appeared who gave information 
that Sunday the 23 May last he heard mass celebrated by Thomas 
Cantwell, against whom a warrant is issued. 

Whether Cantwell was captured or not does not appear but 
to judge from the Corporation books, the efforts to get rid of the 
priests were continued with commendable zeal. 

Presentments of the Grand Jury at a General Assizes held in 
and for the County of the said city the 2 day of August 1715. 

We present Father Cashell for celebrating Mass in the parish of 
St. Canice in the Libertys of the citty of Kilkenny on Sunday 
the last day of July 1715, being noe registered priest of that 
parish or any other within the county of the said citty ; we 
received this information from John Minoge, Broguemaker. 

This priest Cahill had shown intolerable hardihood, for at a 
time when popish worship was extinct in Kilkenny he had ventured 
to say mass. The 21st June previous James Agar, the Mayor, 
complaisantly informed the Dublin Council: 

I have committed all the popish priests, and such other papists 
as we apprehended capable of giving any disturbance, and 
have them now securely confined. 

In the country parts of Kilkenny it does not seem the secret 
was as well kept as in the city. The high sheriff, Oliver Cramer, 
writes to the Lords Justices, 5th July, 1714, enclosing reports : 

The Earl of Cavan and Josias have taken Informations against 
Edmund Fitz Gerald a popish priest for celebrating mass who 
is registered but not taken the Oath of Abjuration. 

James Agar and Ralph Gore have taken Informations against 
Richard Long and William Walsh popish priests for saying mass, 
who are registered but not taken the Oath. 

Tobias Caulfield, Ebenezer Warren and William Flower have 
taken Informations against Michael Phelane and Edward fitz 
Gerald popish priests for celebrating mass, who are registered 
but not taken the Oath. Also against Richard fitz Gerald and 
Michael Cane popish priest as Coadjutors. 

The subsequent proceedings against these priests were not 
reported to the Privy Council. But it seems they put themselves 
upon the country and evaded the law. For on the 25 October 
following, Cramer writes : 

In obedience of their Excellencies the Lords Justices and Councils 
Commands, he pleased to signify to their Excellencies that there 



was only one Martin Archer a popist priest convicted in this 
County for celebrating mass not taken the Oath. Which said 
Martin Archer by order of the last Assizes was to be transmitted 
to Waterford to be transported pursuant to the Act and according 
to the warrant to me. I have transmitted him and have a 
receipt from the Sheriff of Waterford for him. 


Co. Kilkenny. At a Generall assizes and Generall Gaol Delivery 
held at Graces old castle in and for the said County the 17th day 
of July, 1714. 

Whereas Martin Archer now in your Custody was at last summer 
Assizes indicted, tryed and convicted of three severall Indict- 
ments for that being registered popish priest of the parishes of 
Tubrid, Urlingford and Killahey and not having taken the Oath 
of Abjuration did on the 6th of January at Lughamy, on the 
25th of December at Craddockstown, and 7th of October at 
Lughany, celebrate mass and exercise his priestly function 
contrary to the form of the statute in that case made and pro- 
vided. These are therefore to command you on sight hereof 
forthwith to transmit the body of the said Martin Archer from 
the common Gaol of the County to the common Gaol of the 
County of the Citty of Waterford, there to remaine without 
baile or mainprise until from thence transported beyond the 
seas. And for soe doing this shall be a sufficient Warrant, 
per Ordin. Cur. WILL. HAMILTON D. C. Cora. 

To the Sheriffs of the County of Kilkenny and the County of the 
Citty of Waterford. 

As the difficulties of capturing the priests were great, and still 
more the difficulties of obtaining evidence to convict them when 
captured, a professional priest hunter operated for some time in 
the neighbourhood. In the Civil Correspondence is a letter to 
Chief Justice Foster dated 18th October, 1717. The writer, one 
William Dymond makes a touching appeal to the judge. He 
sets out the sufferings pf his "poore helplice family" and goes on 
to remind him "Your Lordshipp sent me to Goren to the Hon. 
Esquire Ram, about to discover the men that wase to serve the 
pretender, and alsoe my charges in seizeing the severall Popish 
Vestments and Mitters [mitres] which came into the kingdom." 
He proved however no better than his class, for the endorsement 
on the petition is "Received from Lord Chief Justice who says 
he hears Petitioner is a dangerous man." 

Of the outbreak of persecution in 1744 there are a few 
memorials. James Fielding, the Portreeve of Irishtown, writes on 
20th March, 1743-4 : 


The following are generally resident and among us. Two Popish 
priests, Patrick Murphy, and the place of his abode is at Mr. 
Thomas Murphy's Green St. and Walter Walsh at Widow Rydings, 
and four friers or reputed friers, John Newman and the place 
of his abode at Mrs. Luke Newman, Fr. Lary at Widow Downs, 
Fr. Morris and Smyth at an old house near fryers Bridge. I 
am informed they did all abscond a few days before the Proclama- 
tion and do believe it true, not meeting with any of them when 
I was on search assisted by all the Protestant Inhabitants. 

The next will fittingly end the notices of Kilkenny. According 
to the law of the period if a man fled from, and successfully evaded 
justice, the grand jury petitioned the government and on sufficient 
cause shown, the latter issued a proclamation declaring the offend- 
ing person to be "a Tory, robber and rapparee out in arms and 
on his keeping and not ameanable to law." The effect of this was 
that he might be seized, hunted, or forthwith shot at discretion. 

County of the City of Kilkenny to wit 

At a General Quarter Sessions of the Peace held at the old Tholsell 
in and for the County of the said City, the 15th day of April 1744. 

Whereas the said Grand Jury then and there Impannelled and 
sworn did among other things make the following Presentment 
to wit 

Whereas it appears to us that Colman O'Shaughnessy was at 
the last Generall Assizes Presented as titular Bishop of the 
Diocese of Ossory and forasmuch as wee are credibly Informed 
that the said Colman O'Shaughnessy was Domestic Chaplain 
to the Pretender to his Maiesties Crown and was at the Immediate 
instance of the said Pretender presented to the see of Ossory as 
Bishop thereof and that the said Colman O'Shaughnessy still 
Remains at Large in this kingdom and not apprehended. We 
therefore present the said Colman O'Shaughnessy as a Dangerous 
Enemy to his Maiestie's Person, Crown and Dignity and to the 
Protestant Religion as by Law Established and Pray that this 
Honourable Court may cause this our Presentment to be laid 
before the Chief Governors of this kingdom. 

Whereupon the Court accordingly hath ordered the said Present- 
ment to be laid before the said Chief Governors. 

Dated as above. Examined by William Walters Dep. Clk. of the 

The Chief Governors were not agreeable to the petition and 
the endorsement runs "the person presented, not presented as a 
Tory, Robber or Rapparee. Nor is there any Examination to 
support the said presentment." 


In Carlow where Protestants were more numerous than in 
other counties of Leinster the administration of the popery code 
pursued a more even tenor, and the intervention of the executive 
was rarer. But some interesting letters are to be seen : 

Carlow 9 October 1713. 

May it please Your Excellencj^. 

I have lately mett with so particular behaviour in one Bowen, 
Registered priest of the parish of Carlow that I think it incumbent 
on me to lay it before your Excellency that I may receive your 
directions at a time that the Rigour of Law in his case seems to 
be in some measure dormant. 

On Michaelmas day last being obliged to goe to Carlow to be 
sworn Soveraigne of the Corporation being elected on Mid- 
summer day before, which the Priest could be no stranger to 
nor to the Highway from my house to Carlow in which I found 
him with a large congregation of people all uppon their knees 
except the priest who was in his surplass with a Cross mounted 
on a stick or something like it in his hand. Passing through 
the body of the People celebrating mass as must be supposed 
though I heard not a word spoke neither made the Priest any 
answer when I reprooved his impudence in meeting so barefaced 
against the known law of the kingdom. Which looked as if he 
did it in defiance of the law and magistracy. 

If I am any way out in this application to your Excellency I hope 
my intentions being good will plead my pardon who am your 
most humble servant. THO. BURDETT. 

What action was taken is unknown. The priest continued to 


Staplestown June the 7 1714. 

May it please your Excellencies and Lordships. 

The laws against Popish priests who have not taken the Oath of 
Abjuration and yet officiate, have been putt in Execution as 
fair as the Justices of the Peace were Impowered to doe by 
taking examinations and granting warrants therein. Particularly 
against Joseph Bowen Registered popish priest of the parish of 
Carloe, David Byrne Registered popish priest for the parish of 
Rathvilly and Charles Nowlan Registered popish priest of the 
parish of Tulloe and also severall others by warrants from the 
Quarter Sessions for not appearing on being summoned. I have 
the honour etc. RICHARD VIGORS. 

There was much milling and but little flour, for four months 
later the high sheriff had to write : 

Sir According to their Excellencies the Lords Justices commands 
I give you an account that since I have been sheriff there have 


been noe priests in the Gaol of this County though some time 
before there was one who dyed in the said Gaole. I am etc. 
Carloe Oct. 28 1714. RICHARD VIGORS. 

This was not encouraging. Still the hunt was well sustained 
the following year, as a kinsman of the sheriff testified : 

Ballynakill Feby. 9 1715. 

Sir I made search in severall suspected places for a Priest that 
was reported to have been lately in my neighbourhood but could 
not find him and I am credibly informed he is fled out of the 
country. But if he returns I don't doubt giving the Govern- 
ment a good account of him. Yours 

To J. Bugell. THO. VIGORS. 

As the years passed, Protestants could sleep soundly though 
mass was being said around them. But from time to time there 
were certain forms of popish aggression which were more than 
flesh and blood could bear. 

My Lord The great insolence of the Papists in this County and 
their audacious proceedings occasion me to give your Lordship 
this trouble. There was a priest taken last week by Mr. Wolseley 
for marrying a Papist to a Protestant and accordingly was ordered 
by him to be carryed to Carlow Jail but was mett by the way 
by near 500 people and rescued from Mr. Wolseley's servants 
and the Constable. 

Since which examinations have been taken against the rogues 
who rescued him. Notwithstanding which they walk the street 
publickly here, so great a party to support them that nobody 
must attempt to take them. They have already attempted 
to murder a Justice of the Peace and a trooper who gave exam- 
inations against them and threatened Mr. Wolseley, Mr. Preston 
the Parson of the Parish and several other gentlemen. 

I write this at the desire of Mr. Wolseley, Mrs. Burton and severall 
others to beg your Lordship will lay them before the Government 
that we may have an order for the troops to assist us in taking 
of them which we intend doing next Monday, so hope your Lord- 
ship will get the order for us against that time. 

I assure your Lordship if this is not done there will be no living in 
this county nor must any persons appear for his Maiesties 
government without venturing their lives. I am 

Your Lordships most dutifull servant 

Burtonhall 3 Aug. 1739. BEN. BURTON. 

To Lord Duncannon. 

This affair must be very secret for fear they should hear of it 
and run away. 


The arrest of a priest was a service of considerable risk. In 
1751 we find a proclamation issued against the persons who 
assaulted George Brereton, high sheriff of Carlow, because he had 
apprehended John Taaff a popish priest, the same perhaps who 

is the subject of the following notice : 

Carlow March 8 1743-4. 

Sir There was one John Taaf who had a house in this town and 
Parish Priest of the same and constantly exercised Ecclesiasticall 
Jurisdiction here, and upon receipt of yours I went in search 
for him in order to apprehend and commit him but he has made 
his escape quite out of this town and county, but where I cannot 
find. I know of no other person exercising Ecclesiasticall 
Jurisdiction. Yours etc. 

To J. Lyons Esq. PHIL. BERNARD, Sovereign. 

From this date for seven years Father Taaf was "on his keep- 
ing" ; his fate we learn from the following : 


Whereas at a General Assizes and General Gaol Delivery held for 
Co. Carlow 17 March 1743 John Taaff e was presented by the 
said County for that he being a Popish Priest did take upon 
himself to exercise the duty and office of a Popish Priest not 
being Registered against the Statute, and that at a General 
Assizes and General Gaol Delivery held in said County 23 March 
1752 the said John Taafe submitted to the said Indictment and 
was thereupon ordered by the Court to remaine in Gaol for the 
space of twelve months and to be afterwards transported as we 
should think fit. Upon some favourable circumstances submitted 
to us in his behalf we think it fit to extend his Majesty's mercy 
vnto him as to the said Confinement. These therefore are to 
direct and require you to draw up a Fiant containing his Majesty's 
Pardon as to a poor man, to him the said John Taafe of that 
part of the sentence directing him to remaine in Goal for twelve 
months and in the said Fiant insert all such beneficial clauses 
as in grants of like nature. Given this 11 day of May 1752. 

To the Attorney and Solicitors General. GEO. SACKVILLE. 

George [Archbishop of] Armagh, Newport Chancellor. 

Whereas at a General Assizes and General Gaol Delivery etc. etc. 
and Whereas the said Taaffe has been removed by virtue of a 
Habeas Corpus into your Custody in order to plead the said 
Pardon which Pardon he having pleaded in his Majesty's Court 
of King's Bench the same has been allowed. We do hereby 
order and direct that the said John Taaffe with the first 
opportunity be transported to the kingdom of France or Spain 
and that the Lord Mayor of the Citty of Dublin do take sufficient 
security by Recognisance from the Master of the Ship into 


which he shall be delivered for that Purpose to land the said 
John Taaffe in the kingdom of France or Spain accordingly. 
Given this 17 July 1752. THOMAS WAITE. 

To the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs, Dublin. 

The particulars of the working of the code in Kildare are even 
more scanty than in Carlow. The open character of the country 
made concealment especially difficult, and the Catholic population 
must have been very sparse. In 1708 on the coming down of 
the proclamation to arrest and imprison all priests, the work was 
carried out with singular efficiency. 

Castledermott 1 April 1708. 

Sir All the priests of this County are taken and in custody Except 
one Balfe who left the country about two years past and one 
ffagan who is very sicke and weake. So that of thirty priests 
who were registered for this County there are five dead one sicke 
and one quitt the country and all the rest Imprisoned besides 
one priest of the County Wicklow taken in this County. 

I am Sir etc. 
To J. Dawson Esq. JEFFRY PAUL. 

Four years later when the Council made a determined attempt 
to arrest the archbishop of Dublin, Dr. Byrne, Dr. Nary, the parish 
priest of St. Michan's, and a Franciscan named Burke, they were 
supposed to have taken refuge in Kildare. On 20th September, 
1712, the Lords Justices and Council issued a proclamation that 
an unlawful society of nuns was removed from Galway to Dublin 
by the pretended order of a Brother John Burke of the Order of 
St. Francis and Provincial of Ireland who has fled from arrest. 
Other popish regulars and Dr. Byrne and Dr. Nary, of Dublin, popish 
priests have exercised jurisdiction. They are to be arrested. 
Laws against ecclesiastical jurisdiction to be enforced ; all un- 
registered priests, all curates and coadjutors, all registered priests 
who have not taken the Oath of Abjuration to be arrested. All 
instruments, papers and letters relating to ecclesiastical jurisdiction 
to be seized ; the Oath of Abjuration to be tendered to all priests. 
A strict account will be demanded of all magistrates. 

Naas 25 Septr. 1712. 

Sir This day I received from the Sub-Sheriff of the County of 
Kildare a Proclamation for, the taking and apprehending of 
John Bourke, Dr. Byrne and Dr. Nary and immediately I went 
to the house of Captain James Eustace of Yeomanstown in this 


neighbourhood where Dr. Nary has been for these three or four 
months past, and made diligent search for the said Doctor 
but could not find him but was told that the Doctor was gone 
this day to surrender himself to the Government and that the 
search should have been there yesterday in order to apprehend 
the said Doctor. Yours etc. 


There is a suggestion in the concluding sentence that the 
people at Yeomanstown were in common parlance "pulling the 
leg" of the magistrate. If Dr. Nary went to surrender himself, 
he changed his mind on the way, for he took excellent care to 
keep out of the hands of the authorities. The following is further 

correspondence from the same locality : 

Naas 12 June 1714. 

Sir The magistrates met on this date and received severall 
examinations against Popish Registered priests that celebrate 
mass and have not taken the Oath, and also against a popish 
schoolmaster. They have granted warrants against all these. 

Several of the Justices met at Maynooth on the 10th instant and 
took examinations against a Registered priest and a priest not 
registered and against two popish schoolmasters and granted 

Several other magistrates met at Timolin and elsewhere and took 
examinations against registered priests etc. 

The priests have absconded themselves at present but all diligent 
care shall be taken by me to putt the said warrants in due 
execution. BRABAZON PONSONBY Sheriff. 

To J. Dawson. 

Naas 24 October 1714. 

Sir There is only one James Eustace a popish priest under sentence 
of transportation in my Gaole. He was convicted before my 
being a sheriff. I received no order for his transportation else 
I would have sent him away before now. He is in close confine- 
ment. I shall be ready to dispose of him as their Excellencyes 
shall direct. BRABAZON PONSONBY, Sheriff. 

Evidently the magistrates of Kildare acting under the eye of 
the executive carried out their duties efficiently. Well on in the 
dawn of toleration the following reports went up : 

Athy 6 March 1743-4. 

Sir I cannot find there is or has been any Popish priest or regular 
popish clergy in this Corporation. The priest that has officiated 
in this parish is one Daniell Fitzpatrick who lives in the Queens 
County about two miles from this town. Jo. JACKSON. 

To J. Lyons Esq. 


In a deposition sworn before Sligo magistrates we get an 
interesting glimpse of how the priests of Kildare ministered to 
their people in those days. 

The Depositions of severall Persons taken before us Percy Gethin 
and Robert Lindsey Esquires 11 November 1712. 

Cormock McGloen of Carrowmore in the parish of Killaspickbrewn 
in the barony of Carbery, yeoman who being duly sworn and 
examined saith that in his road coming from Dublin homewards 
about eight days agoe he heard mass said in a waste house at 
Killcock and that the persons there present were all strangers 
to him except Stephen Crane of Sligoe and those of his own 
company who were then coming from Dublin and that he did 
not know the priest that did then celebrate. Further this 
Examinat saith that he heard mass at Drynahan in the parish 
of Killaspick from one McDonnah who was a young priest and 
that was about two months ago and he believes he may be a 
young friar because he did begg money. 

On the 23rd October, 1714, the high sheriff of Meath amongst 
others was directed to make return what popish priests were under 
sentence of transportation in the county jail. As he did not reply 
a further missive was sent on 14th December. The return is not 
now discoverable. But that the popery acts were duly enforced 
appears from the following : 

To their Excellencies the Lords Justices etc. 

The humble petition of Charles Woodward late High Sheriff of 

Sheweth That your petitioner apprehended one James Plunket a 
Popish priest for saying Mass out of the parish for which he 
was registered, contrary to the Statute. That at the Assizes 
held for the County of Meath 9 July 1716 the said James Plunkett 
was tryed and convicted for saying Mass in the parish of Kilsker 
in the said County being only registered Priest for the parish 
of Killeagh and thereupon ordered by the Court to be transported 
pursuant to the Statute at your Petitioner's prosecution as by 
Certificate enclosed. 

That your Petitioner was at great trouble and expense in prosecuting 
the said James Plunkett and prays the Reward mentioned. 

The only other particulars of County Meath obtainable are 
the returns from Trim in 1744. On 22nd March John Fox, Port- 
:reeve, acquaints the Council : 

.1 have made a diligent search and in a most solemn manner examined 
and interrogated the popish inhabitants of the said Corporation 
and I did not receive any information relating to the priests. 


This was elicited by a demand for details as in a reply of 
Sth^March, he had contented himself with stating he knew of 
no one exercising popish jurisdiction within his liberties. 

From the neighbouring county, Westmeath, we have fuller 
accounts. The Grand Jury in 1714 after reciting the names of the 
registered priests of the county, some of whom would appear to 
have taken the Oath of Abjuration, presents a short list of those 
offending against other sections of the Acts. 

That Charles Deal of Ballintullagh Registered Priest is dead and 

that Dease now officiates in his stead. 
That ffrancis mtz Simons registered priest of the Parish of Rath- 

courath (Titular parish Priest) and fforking is dead and is 

succeeded by Edmund Cormock now dwelling in Mayvore. 
That Dominick Nugent Registered priest for the Parish of Dysart 

is bed ridden and that Bryan Cormock officiates. 

Some further proceedings in that year are reported by the 

High Sheriff. 

17 June 1714. 

In the Barony of Fertullagh one William Warren unregistered 
popish priest has sometimes officiated, against whom a particular 
warrant was issued by Mr. Rochfort, Mr. Bertles and Mr. Hand- 
cock but he could not be found. No popish school-masters 
neither any children sent away for foreigne education. 

In the barony of Moycashell there hath been diligent search made 
for one James Dillon a Popish priest who is registered but hath 
not taken the Oath. He cannot be yet found. J. WEST. 

In reply to an enquiry about priests : 

October 30 1714. 

There was one Neal McNerny alias Leary found guilty before 
Mr. Lord Justice Doyn at the last Assizes and the said McNerny 
obtained an order of transportation. 

Looking through old Dublin newspapers one is surprised, at 
a period when the laws were supposed to have lost their sting, at 
meeting such items as : 

Mr. Luke Tyrrell was convicted at Mullingar Assizes of being an 
unregistered Popish Priest and ordered for Transportation 
(Pue's Occurrences 31 August 1742). 

A search in the records however, cleared up the matter. It 
is to be observed that in the Act 2 Anne, c. 6, the first section ran : 

If any persons shall seduce, persuade or procure any person that 
shall profess the Protestant religion to forsake the same, and 


to profess the Popish religion, or reconcile them to the Church 
of Rome, persons so seducing, as also every Protestant who shall 
be so perverted and reconciled to Popery shall for the said offence 
being thereof convicted, incur the penalty of premunire. 

The following therefore is intelligible : 

To his Grace the Lord Lieutenant etc. 

The humble petition of Francis Morley son of Jane Morley 
Widow. Sheweth 

That Jane Morley petitioned your Excellency that her daughter 
Jane Morley a Protestant had been carried away and seduced 
to the Popish Religion by Luke Tyrrell a popish priest and 
prayed the said Tyrrell would be prosecuted. That said Petitioner 
prayed the said Tyrrell would be prosecuted. That said 
Petitioner expended -11 2s 3|d in pursuing and apprehending 
and procuring witnesses to prosecute said Tyrrell at last Assizes 
of Mullingar when he was convicted of being a popish unregistered 

He concludes by praying an order for the money spent and 
encloses a bill of costs which included the item "a man and two 
horses to Dublin in pursuit of Tyrrell." 

John [archbishop of] Armagh, Robt. Jocelyn. 

We direct and require you to take effectual care that Luke Tyrrell 
a Popish unregistered priest now under a Rule of Transportation 
and in the Gaol of Newgate be forthwith Transported out of 
his Majesty's Dominions and carried to some part or place in 
the Dominions of the States General of the United Province. 
Given 27 May 1743. J. POTTER. 

To the Lord Mayor of the City of Dublin. 

For the year 1744 there are three reports : 

17 March 1743-4. 

I have made strict enquiry within my jurisdiction and called to 
my assistance two of the Justices of the Peace who summoned 
before them severall of the Popish inhabitants and took their 
severall depositions upon Oath. By which it appears that 
one Stephen Egan reputed popish Bishop of the Diocese of Meath 
celebrated mass in the popish chappel of Mullingar in said County 
lately and performed the Ceremony of Confirmation of Children 
in the Mass house of Mullingar aforesaid but where or with whom 
he resides I cannot find. 

I further find that there is a Friery at Multifarnham in said County 
Inhabited by Peter Hughes, Francis Darcy, . Delamer, . 
Pettit, . Gaynor, and humbly pray the Lord Lieutenant's 
warrant for suppressing said Friery with a proper command of 
the standing army quartered at Mullingar. No civil power I 


can raise being sufficient it being a popish neighbourhood and no 
orders for arraying the Militia of the said County. 
I also find that Barnaby. Barnewell and Walter Duffy popish 
priests reside in a house near the chappel in Mullingar aforesaid. 
That one Charles Reilly is a popish priest of the parish of Killucan 
and one Garrett Reilly is a popish priest of the parish of Raconnell 
in said County. That I have used my utmost efforts to have 
the said Bishop Friers and priests apprehended but cannot. 
Yours etc, JAMES SMITH, Sheriff. 

Mullingar 8 Mar. 1743-4. 

Sir I have made strict enquiry and am informed that there was 
one Barnaby Barnwall who did officiate as a popish Clergyman 
in the Mass house at the back of the town of Mullingar and that 
he had one Walter Duffy an other popish Clergyman as his 
assistant and that the said Barnwall and Duffy did reside and 
dwell in a house together adjoining unto the said Mass house. 
But that of late the said Barnwall and Duffy either consale 
themselves very Close or have removed quite out of the neigh- 
bourhood. This is all I can learn at present. Yours etc. 

BEN. SPAU Seneschall of the Manor. 

Athlone 7 March 1743-4. 

Sir 1 have made and caused to be made careful and diligent 
enquiry and do find that there hath been lately in this town a 
seminary of fourteen Regular Friers who upon the late 
Proclamation have separated and withdrawn themselves to 
places to me unknown, and that there were two parish Priests 
in this Burrogh who have likewise withdrawn, and I know of 
no other popish Ecclesiastical Persons whatsoever that have 
orders or exercise any ecclesiastical jurisdiction. Yours 


A Father Dalton in the beginning of 1751 became for some 
reason or other obnoxious to the magistracy in the neighbourhood 
of Killua. The following was sent to Secretary W T aite : 

25 January 1751-2. 

Sir I have this day intimation that Dalton is Coadjutor to Nugent 
and Barnwall and lives alternately at each of their houses. 
This affair must be conducted with the greatest caution and 
resolution as I am certain that upon the least hint given, there 
would be a numerous Mobb of Papists ready to rise and rescue 
him from the hands of Justice. Yours 

The earliest report from Longford is : 

Longford 28 March 1708. 

Sir I have some of the priests in custody and the rest I shall 
get in this week except some that were not registered that has 


made their escape. You may assure their Excellencies that no 
care or diligence shall be wanting att this so necessary juncture, 
for her Maiesties service and the preservation of our religion and 

To H. Poultney Esq. att the Castle of Dublin. 

In 1714 we find : 

County of Longford, Return to the Instructions of the Government. 

We answer that 
George Muldoon popish priest of Cashel is dead and that Patrick 

Howlan is come in his stead. 
Charley ffarrell popish priest of Rathline is dead and that Patrick 

McCaherty is come in his stead. 
Garrett ffarrell popish priest of Mastrum is dead and Oliver Stephens 

is come in his stead. 
That Thady Murtagh popish priest of Killacouroge and Shruar is 

dead and Bryan McHugh is in his room who was formerly con- 
victed for marrying a protestant and papist together contrary 

to the statute. He was transmitted to Dublin in order to be 

transported, he made his escape and is on his keeping. 
Morgan ffarrell popish priest of Abbylara is dead and succeeded 

by Miles Reilly and Fergus Lee. 
James Reilly popish priest of Granard is dead and succeeded by 

Miles Reilly. 
Patrick Kearan popish priest of Killeshee and Bally McCormack 

is alive and has given no security. 
Bryen Reilly popish priest of Kilumkill is alive, one of his securities 

is dead, 
ffrancis ffarrell popish priest of Killoe alive, one of his securities 

Lewis ffarrell popish priest of Tagh Shenan, Taghshevem and Abby. 

Shrewell alive, one of his securities dead. 
Fergus ffarrell of Killoe alive, one of his securities dead, 
ffergus Lee popish priest of Castlenugent alive. Brought us no 

suretyes. Not allowed as registered. 
Bryen McHugh popish priest of Cashell alive one of his securities 

We know nothing of any popish regulars or reputed regulars 

Assuming any jurisdiction. 
We know of no persons who have transgressed the Act of foreign 

Education. ROBT. NEWCOMEN cum Sociis. 

A curious case illustrative of the proceedings under the marriage 
acts may be mentioned here. Bryan McHugh was registered 
parish priest of Cashel in the County of Longford in 1 704. Four years 
later he married a pair who to judge from their names, Edmund 
Geraghty and Elizabeth Byrne, were Catholic enough in all 


conscience. But the consequences are detailed in a whole series 
of documents at the Record Office. 

To his Grace James Duke of Ormond Lord Lieutenant etc. 

The humble petition of Bryan Hughes a poor prisoner in New 

Gate in Dublin. 
Sheweth That your Petitioner was at the Lent Assizes held at 

Longford Indicted and tryed for marrying one Edmund 

Gyreaghty and Elizabeth Byrne on the 12th of August 1708 

upon the allegation that said Byrne was a Protestant and 

Gyreaghty a papist at the time of their marriage. 
That your Petitioner knowing himselfe Innocent of the Crime 

stood his tryall and before he was prepared was found guilty 

and received the sentence to be transported. 
That the said partyes being examined by the Justices of the Peace 

for the County of Longford declared on the Holy Evangelists 

that they were both of the Popish religion all along, before 

their marriage, at the time and ever since. 
May it please your Grace to referr the allegation to this petition 

to Mr. Sergeant Neave before whom he was tryed to report the 

whole matter. 

Sent apparently as an enclosure was 

Co. Longford. Information of Edmund Gyreaght and Elizabeth 
his wife taken before John Wilson and Thomas Kennedy, Justices 
of the Peace for said County. 

Who being sworn on the Holy Evangelists say that they are of 
the popish religion and were married by Mr. Bryan Hughes on 
the 12th of August 1708 and further depose that they did profess 
the popish religion at the time of their Marriage etc. 

There is no endorsement on the petition. Government was 
then, 1708, in a paroxysm of anti-Catholic frenzy, and McHugh 
got short shrift. We might suppose therefore that from prison he 
was securely escorted on board ship and was now beyond the seas, 
meditating on the justice of Irish law. Not at all ; he made his 
escape from Newgate, and back to his diocese. There he exhibited 
triumphantly in the faces of his prosecutors an order for his release 
from prison, signed by Joshua Dawson, the Clerk of the Privy 
Council himself. But later on it was discovered that the discharge 
was a clever forgery concocted by McHugh. Accordingly the 
Grand Jury now presented him as a tory and a rapparee out upon 
his keeping and offered rewards for his recapture. Run to earth 
at length, he was at once marched to Dublin for transportation. 
Yet incredible as it may appear, on llth July, 1712, he was at 


large again. On that date the Lords Justices issued a proclamation 
setting forth much of McHugh's history and offering 20 reward 
ior his apprehension. Notwithstanding the presentments of the 
: grand juries, the rewards of the executive and the efforts of the 
priest hunters, three years later he was reported to be ministering 
in the diocese of Ardagh. But however long the fox runs he is 
caught at last. 

To their Excellencies the Lords Justices of Ireland. 

The Humble Petition of Timothy Kinnett and Thomas Cursen. 

Humbly Sheweth That one Bryen McHugh was formerly at an 
Assizes held for the County of Longford convicted of celebrating 
a marriage between a Protestant and a Papist contrary to the 
Statute and thereby incurred the penalty of a popish regular 
and was ordered to be transported. In order thereunto he 
was transmitted to Dublin but the said priest made his escape, 
was again apprehended and a second time either was registered 
or escaped. Upon which the Lords Justices in 1712 issued a 
proclamation with a reward of 20 to apprehend him. That 
your Petitioners at their great expense and hazard of their lives 
did last winter apprehend and bring before Sir Robert New- 
comen a Justice of the Peace for the County of Longford, said 
Bryen McHugh, who committed him to the Gaol of Longford 
where he remained until run to Dublin by habeas Corpus in 
order to be transported. The premises considered may it please 
your Excellencies to grant the reward etc. 

[Endorsed] That an authentic certificate be produced that they are 
the persons who apprehended Bryen McHugh. 

This was forthcoming : 

On or about the first day of May last the said persons apprehended 

Bryan McHugh and brought him before me. 
Signed 18 December 1716. ROBERT NEWCOMEN. 

On 10th March, 1743-4, James West, high sheriff, wrote en- 
closing : 

The names and places of Abode of all persons being or supposed 
to be Popish Archbishops, Bishops, Vicars General, Deans, 
Jesuits, monks, or Friers and other Popish clergy, and all 
other popish persons exercising any ecclesiastical jurisdiction 
within the County of Longford returned by me James West Esq., 
High Sheriff of the said County pursuant to command of his 
Grace the Lord Lieutenant and Council of Ireland. 
No. 1. Patrick McGary of Longford Vicar or Priest of the parish 

of Templemore. 

2. Thomas Byren Popish Bishop of the Diocese of Ardagh 
and vicar of Taughshimat at Carrickedmond. 

336 LE1NSTER. 

No. 3. John Byren of Tarnaght vicar of parish of Templemichael 
and of Maydaw parish. 

4. Patrick Flynn of Clogh vicar of the parish of Killcomick. 

5. Maurice Ferrall of Ballymalion vicar of the parish of Shrewle. 

6. Patrick Farrell of Mullavorney assistant in the parish of 


7. . Nangle of the same assistant in the parish of Shrewle. 

8. Francis Donnelly of Claris vicar of the parish of Cashill. 

9. Garrett Farrell of Ballinulty vicar of the parishes of Kill- 

glass Rathreagh and Aughera. 

10 Patrick Kevinan of Ballinulty vicar of the parish of Colum- 

11. Richard Ratigan of Aghakieran vicar of the parish of 


12. Michael Farrell of Ballagh vicar of the parish of Cloony- 


13. Francis McCartan of Drumlish vicar of the parish of Killaw. 

14. James McKernan neere Shossduff vicar of the parish of 

Lower Killaw. 

15. Mathew Bready of Laughill vicar of the parish of Cloon- 


16. Laurence Byren of Edgeworthstown vicar of the parish of 


17. Brady neere Edgeworthstown assistant in said parish. 

18. Hugh Brady sometime of Edgeworthstown sometime 

assistant in sd. parish. 

19. Fergus Lee of Castlenugent vicar of Granard parish. 

20. . Murtough of Barnygone vicar of Ardagh parish. 

21. Hugh Flynn of Killnatan vicar of one part of the parish 

of Killaw and Templemichael. 

22. Thomas Stephens of Coolerny vicar or assistant of Temleml. 


23. . Dengnan of Abbylarah vicar of Abby Larah. 

24. . Roddy sometime in Granard assistant in Granard parish. 

25. Peter Clyne of Ballynemanagh assistant of Taughshinny 


26. Michael Farrell of or near Castlenugent vicar of the parish 

of Street. 

Returned this 8 day of March 1743-4 

JAMES WEST, Sheriff. 

John Johnston, seneschal of the manor of Granard, wrote 
10th March, 1743-4 : 

I doe affirm that there is not any popish priest or popish clergy 
whatsoever living within my liberty. - It is true that there is 
a Mass-house in my jurisdiction where mass used to be celebrated 
by one Owen Ruddy but the said Mass-house is shutt up this 
fortnight past. The said Owen Ruddy lives in the Sheriff's 


Liberty which Sheriff I make no doubt will inform you of his 
abode and of many others who lives within his return. 

As an evidence of growing toleration, more than four years 
before a Dublin newspaper chronicled the death of a bishop of 
Ardagh. The notice is curious as it shows an interested contempt 
of the sort the old Romans felt towards the Church when emerging 
from the Catacombs. 

Dr. Mulligan Titular Bishop of Ardagh died 23 July [1739]. He 
belonged to the Augustinians, was a missionary in Scotland and 
Provincial of his order in Ireland. What is most observable 
of this illustrious Defunct is that during the eight years of his 
being Bishop, he never Ordained one, and often bemoaned some 
of his Confreres who are too ready to impose hands on all sorts 
of unworthy subjects, and multiply the ministry to its destruction, 
at a juncture when the whole kingdom is overstocked with 
Clergy and swarms of friars who overburthen the poor of their 
persuasion. And though of little value this Titular Dignity is, 
which has no other eminence but what each Parish Priest gives 
about once a year twenty shillings, yet there are said to be as 
many candidates for it already as for the Archbishop of 
Tolledo (xx). 

In the Queen's, as in the other counties of Leinster, we have 
ample evidence that the magistrates realized their responsibilities. 
On 27th March, 1708, a joint letter was sent to the Lord Lieutenant 
in the names of Robert Stubbs, high sheriff, J. Weaver, Edward 
Dawson, and Hodges Gibbet, magistrates. 

What their Excellencies formerly ordered the Sheriff and us to do 
has been duly put in Execution. The Priests are all in custody 
and we are now sending to all to take the Oath of Abjuration 
and such as refuse shall be committed. 

Later on when their Excellencies required to be informed of 
the magistrates' further proceedings, Thomas Vigors high sheriff 
wrote 12th June, 1714, that he and the other magistrates had 
taken informations against the several priests and warrants were 
already out for their arrest. 

From Maryborough we have some fuller details. On 20th 
March, 1708, St. Ledger Gilbert and Ephraim Dawson wrote : 

In pursuance to your Excellencies commands we immediately 
sent dispatches to size (sic) all the popish priests and other 

(xx) Dublin Daily Post. 


disaffected persons. Which service is already performed through 
out this county. Six of the priests are now in custody and we 
expect all the rest will be brought in within a day or two. 

The returns for 1744 are as follow : 

Maryborough Mar. 8 1743-4. 

Sir I have made most strict Enquiry in my Power to give you a true 
and just Return and can know no other But the following persons 
exercising any Ecclesiasticall Jurisdiction within this Borough 
or Liberties which reach as near two miles round the town. 
This Borough is in the diocese of Leighlin and Ferns of which 
Diocese William Lawlor of Ballymackin is Vicar Generall as I 
am informed. John Lawlor of Ballyflin is his Assistant or 
Curate in the part which is the parish of Burres. There is two 
priests in the parish of Clonenach in the above Diocese. A 
great part of the said parish is in the Liberty of said Burrough. 
One of which [Priests] is Edward Corkron of Cromoge who is 
reputed treasurer for the Diocese, the other is Daniel Horachan 
of Clonagown a Priest but as I can find has no other title. I 
know of no other nor can I hear of any other person exercising 
any Popish Jurisdiction in this Burrough or Liberties but shall 
make strict Enquiry and if I find others or any other you shall 
immediately have an exact account. Jos. DWIOR. 

The names of the Popish Clergy of the Queen's County. 

Edmund Corkeran of Cromoge priest of the part of the parish 

of Clonena who writes himself vicar of Clonena. 
Darby Cleary of Grantstown priest of the parish of Aghaboe. 
William Keating of Ballymeddock priest of the parish of Abbey- 

leix, Ballyrone and Ballynake. And . Taaf his coadjutor. 
Bryan Moor of Ballynagall reputed Bishop. 
Lewis Moor of Raheenahole priest of the parish of Ballyadam. 
Daniel Fitz Patrick of Shangana priest of Athy. 
William Taaf of Ballynegall priest of Dunane. 
William Lawlor of Ballymakan Vicar Generall of the Diocese of 

John Phelan of Huntington Vicar Generall of the Diocese of 


John Lawlor coadjutor to the said John Phelan. 
Patrick Kelly parish priest of Stradbally. 
James Phelan Parish priest of Skirk. 
Daniel Kennedy reputed friar at or neare Skirk. 
Martin Dulay of Durrow parish priest of Aghamacart. 
Valentine Dunn of Coolamoney parish priest of Rosanalla. 
Arthur Molloy of Mount Mellick parish priest of Castlebrack. 
. flyn of Mount Mellick reputed friar. 
Michael Dunn of Brittas reputed friar. 
John Meagher of Roscrea parish priest of Kile. 


Michael Costigan of Rushall reputed friar. 

William Fitz Patrick of Grantstown Coadjutor to Darby Cleary. 

Daniel Horahan of Clonegoun parish priest of part of the parish 

of Clonana. 

Mathew Lawlor of Knockenagar Priest. 
Patrick Byrn of Garran reputed friar. 
William Dulany of Killeen parish priest of Offerilan. 
Thady Hanly of Mountmellick reputed friar. 

GEORGE DESPARD, Sheriff of the Queens County. 

We come now to deal with the King's County, the remaining 
one of Leinster province. In reply to the instructions and 
proclamation sent in 1708 the assembled magistrates on 30th March 
addressed the government : 

Wee having this day mett at Killeighe agreed on the following 
several answers viz : 

That all the popish priests that Inhabit the said County are com- 
mitted except one Thomas Perry who hath absconded. . . 

While regretting that the record is so summary, the Dublin 
correspondence affords abundant particulars of a priest hunt a few 
years later. It was conducted by Tyrrell and so we are able to 
follow it. 

The Examinacon of Edward Tyrrell taken in the presence of their 
Excellencies the Lords Justices and Council. 

Who being duly sworn on the Holy Evangelists and Examined 
saith that having given Information to Mr. Moore and Mr. Forth 
two Justices of the Peace of the Kings County where some 
regulars of the Popish Clergy were and having obtained a warrant 
to apprehend them, went with the High Constable and seized 
one of the said Regulars, and upon searching his papers, found 
one paper which was a discharge for rent from Mr. Thomas 
Lestrange to the said Regular. That afterwards the said Regular 
made his escape. That being at the Quarter Sessions Mr. 
Lestrange asked if he had not taken a paper of his amongst the 
Papers of the Regular Priest seized. The Examinate replyed 
he had and he gave the said paper to Mr. Forth. Whereupon 
the said Mr. Lestrange said he had given such an acquittance 
for rent but could not tell how he came to doe it, or that he knew 
he was a Regular. Saith that he saw Primate Mac Mahon in 
Flanders and is now in this kingdom and knows he resides at 
Cullagh Duffe McMahon's neare Carrickmacross in the County 
of Tyrone and saith that he comes sometimes to Lusk in the 
County of Dublin to ordain Cleregy of the Popish religion. 
Saith that John Taaffe of Athirdee was present when Primate 


MacMahon ordained Priests at Patrick Marky's house at Glas- 
pistol in the County of Lowth in the month of May last when 
he ordained four priests. Saith that the names of the persons 
so ordained are Patrick Markey, son of the aforesaid Patrick, 
John Fleming who lives near Athirdee, one Patrick Lawler neer 
Dunleer, and one Bellew of the same County. That Dr. Bardin 
Titular Bishop of Ferns was present and assisted at the said 
ordination. That Peter Keeneghan of Ballymacalloge in the 
County of Lowth was also present at the said ordination and 
one Dowdall who lives neer Athirdee was also present. Saith 
he applyed to Captain Thomas Bellingham and informed him 
of the Regulars being in the County of Lowth and of the afore- 
said Ordination and desired him to give directions for siezing 
the said Priests whereupon Captain Bellingham said he was an 
old man and infirm with the Gout and was unfit for business 
and therefore advised this Examinate to goe to Dublin and apply 
himself to the Government. Further saith that he came to 
Dublin in order to apply to the Government and writ a Letter 
and sent it by one Willet a Chandler who was a Grand Juryman 
of this Citty to my Lord Chancellor but he was told that his 
letter would not be delivered to the Lord Chancellor for that 
his servants if they knew that the Letter came from this Exam- 
inate, would not deliver it. Saith that he went in person to the 
Lord Chancellor at his house who received him this Examinate 
civilly and gave him half a guiney for his Encouradgement to 
proceed in his Discoveryes. Being further examined saith 
that one Thomas Feaghny who is reputed a Popish Bishop 
came lately from St. Germans and now lodges at the house of 
Mr. Felix Coughlan near Fairbane in the King's County and 
saith that he discovered the same to John Moor Esq. who said 
he did not care to concern himself therein but directed him to 
come and apply himself to the Government. 

Further saith that he believes Edmund Byrne the Titular Arch 
bishop of Dublin's papers are kept in the house of one Byrne 
a Cooper in Francis Street. ED. TYRRELL. 

Capt. coram me xxv Octobris Anno Domini 1712. 

J. DAWSON Dep. Cler. Concilii Privati. 

The popish bishop just come from the Court of the Pretender 

demanded immediate action. 

Dublin Castle 25 Oct. 1712. 

To John Moore, Esq. of Crochan and James Forth Esq. of Redwood 
near Philipstown. 

Gentlemen Edward Tyrrell who brought me your letter of the 
18th instant has attended the Lords Justices and Council, and 
hath given an Examination on Oath that one Thomas Fooghry 
who is reputed a Popish Bishop and came lately from St. Germans 
in France now lodges at the house of Mr. Felix Coughlan neare 


Fairbane and Tyrrell undertakes to have him apprehended there 
if he may have sufficient assistance. The said Tyrrell likewise 
informed the Justices and Council that there is a convent of 
Fryers of the order of St. Dominicke at a place near Fairbane 
called Fedan where a great number of them constantly reside. 
Their Excellencies and Council hereby signify their pleasure 
to you to go with the said Tyrrell and require such assistance 
as you shall think necessary and search the house of the said 
Felix Coughlan for the said Thomas Fooghry and having appre- 
hended him, to secure him. Their Excellencies desire you 
will also endeavour to apprehend the Fryers said to be in said 
Convent and commit them to Gaole accordin b ^o the directions 
of the late Proclamation and disperse the seminary if any such 
therebe. Tyrrell says he will make further Discoveryes to you 
if you have but good assistance. Their Excellencies having 
already seen your zeal in the like service upon the late informa- 
tions given by the said Tyrrell, do in a particular manner recom- 
mend this present service. J. DAWSON. 

By the same post a warrant was directed to Captain James 
Sterling at Ballyboy in the King's County. 

Their Lordships recommend it to you to give Tyrrell what assistance 
you can and command such a number of men as you shall think 
necessary for the apprehending such enemies to our Constitution. 

The history and results of the expedition are given in the 

. following : 

Ferbane November the 4 1712. 

Sir In obedience to the Commands of their Excellencies the 
Lords Justices and Council of this kingdom signified by you to 
us to go with the Bearer Edward Tyrrell to search the house 
of Mr. Felix Coughlan for Thomas Feoghny a Titular Popish 
Bishop lately returned from St. Germans in France, we proceeded 
on our journey towards Mr. Coughlan 's house but within about 
three miles of the house, Edward Tyrrell found by his in- 
telligence that the said Feoghny was at a place called Carthron 
in the County Westmeath, to which place we went and there 
found him though his being there was denied by all the servants 
of the house. We take leave at the request of Mr. Coughlans 
lady who lay dangerously ill to acquaint the Lords Justices 
that she was Hourly apprehensive of Death and begged very 
earnestly that wee would take security for Feoghney, being as 
she said her physitian. But not having any such authority by 
your Letters We sent him under a good guard to Phillipstown 
Gaole where he will continue till their Excellencies and Lord- 
ships further pleasure be known. We think ourselves obliged 
to let you know that if Tyrrell had not been very vigilant and 


active Feoghny had not been taken. We have taken his Exam- 
ination which we send you Enclosed. We proceeded afterwards 
according to the Command in your Letter to Fedan to make 
search for the ffiriars but found no such persons there. We 
think fitt to acquaint you that in our way through a very wild 
uninhabited country we searched the house of Mr. John Coughlan 
of Clanmenlock where there was a great number of beds and 
books but no persons except women. We received intelligence 
that the said John Coughlan had notice from Dublin that there 
was a search intended for Priests in that country and we were 
tould before we came to the said house by Thomas Feoghny, 
the Prisoner, that John Coughlan afforesaid sent him word 
the night before that he the said Feoghny was (as he termed it) 
on the list of Priests to be apprehended. There was a consider- 
able provision of drink and eatables as well as beds at Coughlan 's 
house though it was in a most retired place far distant from any 
high road. We must also acquaint you that when search was 
made at Fedan for the Friars, Tyrrell apprehended one William 
Kenny whom he charged with harbouring and concealing as 
well as his brother Redmund Kenny who made his escape from 
the High Constable of the Barony of Balliboy with which we 
formerly acquainted you, as also other Regular popish priests 
whom the said Tyrrell delivered into the custody of one William 
Ponder who was one of his assistants in the taking of him. But 
a scuffle happened, occasioned by a drunken man coming into 
the house. Kenny took that opportunity and made his escape. 
He has a farm near the place and we have taken proper Exam- 
inations and granted a warrant against him which we doubt 
not will be executed. Our men and we rode from 5 o'clock on 
Monday morning till 6 at night without any refreshment either 
to our selves or horses through as bad roads as I believe ever 
were Travelled and at night mett with very sadd entertainment 
and lodging at this place. We are your honours humble servts. 


Com. Regis. The Examinacon of Thomas Feaghry taken the 
4 day of November 1712. Who being examined saith that 
about fifteen years agoe he left this kingdom and went with 
one Fr. Anthonjr Kelly a ffranciscan frier, landed at Havre Grace 
in France, went through Paris to Prague in Bohemia and there 
began his stud}* which he continued about one year. That he 
then returned to Paris where he continued his study of philosophy, 
humanity and physick in the Jesuits College till near Christmas 
last, then left Paris, went to Nants, there took shipping with 
one Dowdall of this kingdom and landed at Dublin about St. 
Thomas Day. That he stayd in Dublin till about Easter last 
and then came into the Kings County to the Widow Coughlan 
near Banagher in the said County where he stayd for some time, 


then went and resided chiefly at the house of Mr. Owen Mooney 
of Doone in the said County till about two months agoe when 
he was sent for to Kincorr in the said County to the house of 
Felix Coughlan Esq. where he continued till about six weeks 
agoe when he went with the said Felix Coughlan 's Lady to 
Carthron in the County of Westmeath where he was yesterday 
apprehended. This Examinate saith that on or about the 9 day 
of September last he was at a place called the Seven Churches 
in the said County where he heard mass celebrated but utterly 
denies that he officiated as Popish Bishop or priest or that he 
ever was in any popish orders. This Examinat saith that he 
see at the Seven Churches aforesaid about nine or ten popish 
priests. That he was told there was a popish Bishop there but 
does not know whether he see him or not, he not being at that 
time in a different habit from the rest of the popish priests. 
This Examinate saith that about five year agoe he see one Dunan 
att Paris where he' believes he studied divinity, that since this 
Examinate came into this kingdom he see the said Dunan in 
Dublin and was told he was a priest. Edward Tyrrell desiring 
that this Examinate should be asked whether he see his brother 
Edmund Feoghny att Kincorr aforesaid, answered that he see 
him in the Green Lane before the house. That at Easter last 
he was in no popish orders but was told he was since ordained 
a priest and that he has, and see him celebrate mass near Lisloony 
in this County. TH. FFEAGHRY. 


This seems a plain, unvarnished tale enough, but the law 
advisers of the Crown only saw in it the greater evidence of the 
dangerous character of the "bishop." 

Council Office Dublin 8 Nov. 1712. 

To John Moore. Sir I have received a letter dated 4th instant 
signed by you, Mr. Forth, Captain Sterling and Mr. Low by the 
hands of Edward Tyrrell and laid the same before their 
Excellencies the Lords Justices and Council and had their Com- 
mands to acquaint you and the rest of the gentlemen that they 
are very well pleased with your and their readiness and pro- 
ceedings therein and that their Excellencies have given directions 
that Thomas Feaghry be brought up here in order to be tryed 
at the Queen's Bench this term. Yours J. DAWSON. 

By the same post instructions were sent to have John Coughlan 
of Clonmelogh, Edmund Ward of Tynnecross, John Feaghny near 
Fedan, and Denis Dowling near the Seven Churches, sent to Dublin 
as material evidence for Her Majesty. Yet needless to say the 
case against the "bishop" collapsed. 


The following year, 1713, the campaign against the King's 
County priests was renewed. On 10th March Secretary Dawson 
directed one Edward Shuldham to attend the Philipstown assizes 
to prosecute. He attended in due course and reported : 

Ballyboy 28 March 1713. 

Sir At Philipstown there were nine bills of indictment against 
popish priests, six for not having taken the Oath, three against 
registered popish priests for saying mass out of the parish for 
which they are registered. None appeared but Edward Carolin 
and his brother John, but in regard the principal witness against 
them did not appear but had an affidavit produced of his being 
disabled by sickness, the Attorney General did not proceed. 
There were two other Indictments one against a Petty Constable 
for suffering a Popish Priest's escape out of his custody, the 
other of a woman for assaulting and beating Tyrrell but none 
of them appeared and warrants are ordered. 


The accounts sent to the Castle in 1714 were just as unsatis- 
factory. On the 21st June sixteen magistrates met in Ballyboy 
to put the proclamation against the priests in execution. 

We desire you will be pleased to acquaint his Grace and their 
Lordships that the late insolent behaviour of the Papists of their 
County, as we apprehended, is chiefly owing to their priests -not 
being brought to justice who have of late publickly exercised 
their functions. And severall of the Justices of the Peace who 
were active in summoning persons to give evidence against 
them and taking examinations have been threatened for their 
behaviour towards them. There has been but one priest brought 
to his trial and convicted, one Carolan an unregistered priest 
who exercised the function of a popish priest in the parishes of 
Killbride and Durrow, and one Geoghegan a registered priest 
from the parish of Croghan but who had not taken the Oath of 
Abjuration. We continued both in Bail, Affidavits having been 
made at every Assizes that they were so ill that without hazard 
of their lives they could not appear. But the rest of the said 
priests as we are credibly informed exercise their function and 
are not taken though our warrants are still out against them. 

A report from Ballyboy a few days later was more optim- 
istic. The enemy were getting cowed. 

The activity of the magistrates hath already had the effect 
that the Popish Clergy are gone a hideing as usually they doe 
from Justice. 


The results were summed up by the high sheriff in a letter 

four months later. 

October 30 1714. 

Sir To give you a full account of the proceedings that have been 
against the popish priests in this County. There were in the 
month of September 1712 three priests committed to Gaole (to 
witt) Edmund Carolan and John Coonan alias Doonan alias 
Moran found officiating as popish priests in the parishes of 
Killbride and Durrow though neither of them registered in this 
County, and Thomas Geoghegan registered popish priest of the 
parish of Monasteoris and officiating as such not having taken 
the Oath required by law. They were all three bayled to the 
next Assizes two of them (to witt) Carolan and Coonan in Dublin 
and Geoghegan by Mr. Moore and Mr. Low who committed all 
the said priests. Sir Richard Levin the Queens Attorney Generall 
came to the next assizes being the Lent assizes 1713 to prosecute 
the said priests. Carolan and Coonan appeared. Terrill the 
evidence who was hanged before the Assizes after, was there 
then to prosecute, severall other evidences were bound over, 
the Bills were found. An affidavit was sworn that Geoghegan 
was sicke. All that did not know the reason to the contrary, 
expected that Carolan and Coonan would be tryed and found 
guilty and left in Gaole to continue without bayle till the be- 
ginning of December after, there came a warrant from the Hon. 
Justice Upton commanding the then sheriff of the said County 
tq transmit the said Carolan to Newgate which was accordingly 
done. I have been informed that the said Carolan is at liberty 
in Dublin. One William Costikin the gaoler's son met him not 
long since in Pill Lane and Drank with him there. At every 
assizes since, there have been affidavits sworn by Papists that 
Carolan and Geoghegan the other two priests were sick and 
so they continue under bayle. Yours 


The insinuation of the sheriff was that the Tory- Jacobite 
Lord Chancellor Phipps, intervened to save the priest, and that 
action such as this, paralysed the efforts of the local magistracy. 

The only document of the 1744 period relating to the King's 
County to be met with, is the return of the high sheriff. 

Kings Co. April 10, 1744. 
John McKeogh a frier of Meelick in the County of Gallway often 

in the parishes of Birr and Killcoleman. 

William Walsh a reputed frier often in the parish of Killcoleman. 
Anthony Carroll the same in the same parish. 
Thady Carrick a priest lives by Kilcoleman Church. 
John Gilfoyle Priest of Shinrone parish. 


James Kennedy Priest of Roscomrow and Kiltully parishes. 
. Dwyer Do. of Birr. 

. Ducy Do. of Dunkerrin. 

John Hogan Do. of Annymadle. 
George Nugent Do. of Monasteoris. 
Laughlin Fullard Curate of Monasteoris. 
Edward Cavanagh priest of Geashill. 
Laurence Delahunty Do. of Killaderry. 
Anthony Nowlan Do. of Durrow. 
Kedagh Dempsey Do. of Killbride. 
Owen Geoghegan Do. of Killmanaghan. 

Anthony Fox, Owen Molloy and Robert Fitz Gerald supposed- 
regulars now in my custody. HENRY LYONS, Sheriff. 

But the priest hunting did not cease for many years after. 

George [archbishop of] Armagh, Newport, C. Bessborough. 

We hereby direct and require you to take effectual care that Simon 
Forster a Popish Priest now under a Rule of Transportation 
in the Gaol of Philipstown be forthwith transported out of his 
Majesty's Dominions to Lisbon in Portugal. Given the 16 
February 1754. THOMAS WAITE. 

To the High Sheriff, King's County. 

Even far into the last century, men who had remembered 
episodes in the penal times recounted them to Dr. Doyle the bishop' 

of Kildare. 

Allen 6 May 1823. 

I am here placed in the centre of an immense bog which takes its- 
name from a small hill under whose declivity the chapel and 
house are built where I now write. What perhaps interests me 
most in the wide and vast expanse of the Bog of Allen is that 
it afforded for nearly two centuries a place of refuge to the 
apostolic men who have gone before me in preaching the faith 
and administering the sacraments to a people in every respect 
worthy of such pastors. The haunts and retreats frequented by 
the bishops of Kildare in the times of persecution are still pointed 
out by the aged inhabitants of these marshes with a sort of 
pride mingled with piety ; and they say " There he administered 
confirmation ; here he held an assembly of the clergy ; on that 
hill he ordained some young priests whom he sent to France, 
to Spain or to Italy ; and we remember or we heard how he 
lived in yonder old walls in common with the young priests 
whom he prepared for the mission. He sometimes left with a 
staff in his hand, and being absent months, we feared he would 
never return ; but he always came back until he closed his days- 
amongst us. Oh ! if you saw him ; he was like St. Patrick 


What think you my dear friend must be my reflections at hearing 
of the dangers, and labours and virtues of these good men, and 
what a reproach to my own sloth and sensuality and pride ! 
They of whom the world was not worthy, and who went about 
in fens and morasses, in nakedness and thirst and hunger, and 
watching and terror, will be witnesses against me for not using 
to the best advantage the blessings which their merits have 
obtained from God for their children. Their spirit indeed seems 
to dwell here, and in those remote and uncultivated districts 
there is found a purity and a simplicity of morals truly surprising. 

Again : 

In the glen or the cavern where they sojourned they taught the 
rudiments of learning. The Catholic bishop of this diocese in 
a shed built of mud and covered with rushes on the verge of the 
Bog of Allen the refuge of a man not inferior in mind or virtue 
to Fenelon instructed youth with his own tongue and shared 
with them the crust which he had first watered with the tears 
of affliction. 



DOWN to the year 1715 when the second Duke was attainted, 
Tipperary was an independent palatinate under the rule 
of the Ormonds. The records of the palatinate courts 
were then transmitted to Dublin where they are still preserved. 
They are however fragmentary, and on the criminal side with 
which we are concerned, they have almost totally disappeared. 
But by bringing together a number of isolated references one is 
able to form a fair judgment how the priests fared in the county. 
The first Duke of Ormond, kidnapped to England and brought 
up by the notorious Abbot, archbishop of Canterbury, was the 
only Protestant of his family. In some respects the most fatal 
enemy the Irish Catholics ever had, his bigotry never extended 
to his relatives, and when at the Restoration he became virtual 
ruler of the kingdom, the Butlers came back to property and 
power. Accordingly throughout a great part of the penal era, 
all the great county magnates were strong Catholics. Ormond 's 
brother, Richard of Kilcash (ancestor of the present family of 
Ormond), his half brothers, Toby and George Mathew, his nephew 
Purcell, baron of Loughmoe, his cousins the Lords Cahir and Dun- 
boyne, the Butlers of Kilmoyler, Bansha, and numerous others, 
all lived in the county and at the worst times were able to shelter 
the priests. The present habitat of the archbishops of Cashel 
is traceable to the fact that from the Cromwellian period 
down Thurles has been in Catholic hands. The Vicar-Apostolic, 
John Burke, lived there as an attendant to Lady Thurles 
(Ormond's mother) who was dispensed from being transplanted to 
Connaught. During the popish plot Archbishop Brennan was 
hidden at Annfield by Toby Mathew. His successor again, Edward 
Comerford lived as parish priest of Thurles under the protection 
of the Mathews, lords of the manor. When Comerford died at 
the depth of the penal times, the Roman authorities appointed 
Christopher Butler of the Kilcash family in the belief that his 


relatives would be able to maintain him in the county. But 
while the loyalty of the old families afforded a considerable measure 
of protection, it only helped the more to embitter the Cromwellian 
squirearchy. A few illustrations may be given of the feelings 
subsisting between the two parties. Kingsmill Pennefather writes 
from Cashel, 29th March, 1708 : 

The militia want arms and in my humble opinion it is very necessary 
they should be supplied speedily not only on account of the 
quality [but the] good estates of the Papists who live among us. 
If their Excellencies please to order ammunition with the guns 
it will very much encourage our Protestant inhabitants. 

In the following there is sample of the fighting temper of an 

ancestor of the late Sir William Butler : 

Cashel Feby. 1 1715. 

Sir Collonel Purcell, Major Mathew and his son, and others of 
the chief of the Papists have been taken up and admitted to 
baile on security that they shall confine themselves to their 
respective parishes and be of good behaviour till the Govern- 
ment's pleasure be further known. I will send them to Dublin 
if their Excellencies think fitt. I sent Cornet Edwards yesterday 
to search for arms and seize suspected persons. He went to the 
house of one Butler of Derryclooney who has two sons that re- 
fused him entrance in order to search for arms. My Cornet was 
intended to carry out his orders upon which Thomas Butler, 
one of the sons fired out of a window at Edwards, which made 
him the more resolute. Which they in the house observing 
were terrifyed into complyance of opening the door and let him 
in, where he found a case of pistols, one firelook and two swords. 
He seized the two young men whom I sent to Gaole. I don't 
find any arms worth speaking of in possession of the Papists. 
Such horses as were seized are ordered into Inns in the next 
adjacent towns under guards. Pray send powder and ammuni- 
tion from Limerick or Waterford. KINGSMILL PENNEFATHER. 

Again in January, 1729, he writes for more ammunition, that 
"the number of Papists and other evil disposed persons is so great 
that it is hazardous for the civill power to put the laws in execution. " 
George Cole, mayor of Clonmel, writes 20th September, 1746 : 

I believe the town may conveniently quarter 2 companys and 
upon an Emergency as many more, and att their request I 
desire you will acquaint their Excellencies that the Protestant 
inhabitants of Clonmel are pleased with every opportunity of 
showing their zeal for his Majesty's service and that they will 
upon all occasions give the utmost proofs of their steady Loyalty 
for his sacred person and government. 


A revenue collector, Samuel Bagwell, reports from the same 
place, 14th March, 1743, that he is in search of Andrew Laffan 
supposed to be enlisting men for the French service, adding 

I have a very large walk in this County most part of it very wild 
and too well stockd with the vermin called Papists who I fear 
will destroy me when I am amongst them upon my collection. 

From these and such like it may be conjectured that the 
Tipperary magistrates would not be wanting in their duty of setting 
the priests. Nor were they. The transportation of the vicar- 
general of Emly, Dermot O'Meara, in 1699 has been already noticed. 
His archbishop, Dr. Comerford, was long kept on the run. A man 
named Ryan who seems from some notes in the Southwell Papers 
to have been a professional priest hunter, located him and even 
named the priest who brought the bull of consecration from Rome. 
But unfortunately from the loss of the papers of this period, it 
cannot be ascertained what measures were taken to capture the 
archbishop, and how he managed to escape. Of his successor we 
have some very interesting particulars. Christopher Butler 
owing to the suspicion fallen on his family, especially after the 
attainder of the second Duke of Ormond, moved about constantly 
in order to escape observation. Much of his time was spent at 
Kilcash at the foot of Slievenamon. Occasionally he can be traced 
at Garryricken, Co. Kilkenny, or again with his relatives, the 
McCarthys of Springhouse, in Tipperary. When the scent became 
too keen he made his way to his cousins the Gallways of Fota 
Castle, near Queenstown. Here it was that the notorious Tyrrell 
tracked him. 

Edward Tyrrell being examined saith that he was present in a 
Mass house neare Corke when one Butler Titular Archbishop of 
Cashel ordered [ordained] two persons called Slines on the 29 of 

January last 

saith he believes Christopher Butler is now at Kilcash which 
is the place of his residence since he came from ffrance about 
six months ago ; is brother to Butler of Kilcash. 

' EDWARD TYRRELL. Dated this 6 May 1713. 

No time was lost. 

Council Office Dublin 16 May 1713. 

Sir Their Excellencies the Lords Justices and Council having 
received information upon Oath that Christopher Butler Titular 


arch Bishop of Cashell came from France about six months 
agoe and resides at Kilcash in your County as allso John Pierce 
Titular Bishop of Waterford resides there allso Their Excellencies 
and Lordshipps have commanded me to acquaint you thereof 
and that you forthwith apprehend the said Christopher Butler 
and John Pierce and commit them to Gaole and their papers to 
be searched and sealed upp that if necessary may be sent to this 
Office in order to be laid before the Council Board and that you 
do it with secracy and prudence that the necessity of the Affair 
requires and that you will give their Excellencies an account 
of your proceedings therein etc. J. DAWSON. 

To the High Sheriff of Tipperary. 

The archbishop apparently by a lucky chance escaped. 

Nenagh May 30 1713. 

Sir Your letter of the 16 of May instant did not come to my 
hands until the 26, being in Dublin which is the reason wherefore 
you did not heare from me before now in answer to their Ex- 
cellencies the Lords Justices and Councils commands. 

On the 27th I repaired to Kilcash and there made diligent search 
and Inquiry for Christopher Butler Titular Archbishop of Cashell 
and John Pierce Titular Bishop of Waterford but could find 
neither of them. Neither could I find that they or either of 
them had been there. I likewise made strict search for the 
books and papers belonging to the said Popish clergy but could 
not find any. I desire you will be pleased to acquaint their 
Excellencies the Lords Justices and Council with my proceedings 
in this matter. Sir your most humble servant. TER. MAGRATH.- 

Yet on Sunday, 16th August not three months later, the 
archbishop had the hardihood to consecrate two bishops, one for 
Cork, the other for Killaloe at "Villa Domus Fontis" Springhouse 
in the Glen of Aherlow. And so on throughout his career. His 
portrait is at Kilkenny Castle and who that has seen him as he 
looks out from the canvass, with quiet eye and tranquil counten- 
ance, his fingers playing with the pectoral cross, his whole attitude 
of gracious repose who could realise that for thirty of the forty- 
five years of his long episcopate he was a felon and an outlaw 
and his capture welcomed as an "honourable service." 

But the location of the archbishop by Tyrrell was nothing to 
his discovery at Clonmel. There he beheld a real live Cardinal. 

Clonmel the 10 of Jany 1712-3. 

May it please your Excellencies I have been disappointed in 
serving the Government in the County of Wexford by the ill 


management of some of the Justices of the Peace there as it shall 
appeare before your Excellencies in Council in a very short time. 
In the meane time there is extraordinary good service to be done 
in this towne by takeing of severall persons of greate note of the 
Popish clergy lately come from France and Rome, more particular 
Thomas Ennis [Thomas Hennessy S.I.j who goes under the name 
of a Popish bishop ; he acts here after the Rules of a Cardinall ; 
on the sixth of this instant, called twelfth day he was in a Bishop's 
habit with a mighter upon his head, and all other extream 
rich Robes belonging to that order, he celebrated high mass in 
the Mass house without the West gate of this towne, where he 
had a vast company of people which showed him as much 
Reverence as if he had been the Pope by kissing his hands and 
the very ground whereon he trod, all which I was an eye witness 
off. There is another person here who takes upon him the title 
of a Bishop ; he goes by the name of Mr. Bourk but his right 
name is Sail. There is also another whose name is Father 
Adams, he is turned father Confessor in particular to the women 
and is manageing a way to put upp a private Nunnery. All 
those I have seen officiate. I must take leave to assure your 
Excellencies they are very dangerous persons. Thomas Ennis 
has of late years been a great spy in the Court of England. They 
all go by contrary names ; one of them is the Titulate bishop of 
Derry who has been already taken by the Lords Justices and 
Council but was rescued out of the Custody of Capt. Michael 
Cole as his Grace the Archbishop of Dublin and Mr. Justice 
Cooke can inform your Excellencies and give better satisfaction 
' of the truth hereof. I think it fitt to give you the names of the 
persons who entertains them privately in their howses viz. 
Richard Stritch and Patrick Morony Merchts, James Sherlocke 
apothecary and one Tonory ; these are the persons who enter- 
tains them and in whose houses their goods and papers are now 
concealed. I think it also requisite to give your Excellencies an 
Account of severall of the persons who have heard and saw them 
Officiate as aforesaid viz. Thomas Pursell, Francis Morony, 
Nicholas White, Michael Davan Merchants, John Maugher, 
William Morony, Patrick ffitz Patrick, James Sherlock apothe- 
cary, Richard Stritch and Patrick Morony Merchants, James 
Tonnory ; these are the names of the most materiall persons 
who to my certaine knowledge have been hearing them. I 
desire they may (if your Excellencies thinks fitt) be examined 
upon Oath of what they know concerning the persons aforesaid. 
I am credibly informed there are some Protestants in the towne 
who are largely bribed by those disaffected persons for winking 
at their actions. I have this night been in private with Major 
Cutbert Wilkinson, Collector of Clonmell with whom I advised 
concerning this matter, his advice to me was to apply myself 
to your Excellencies for an order not only to the Civill magestrates 


but also to the Commanding officer of the troops of this Barracks 
to take with him as many men as may be sufficient for appre- 
hending these men without which (there being so vast a number 
of Popish mobb in this towne) it cannot possibly be done ; and 
withall humbly begg (if your Excellencies thinks convenient) 
to mention particularly in that order Thomas Batty and Robert 
Hamerton Esquires Justices of the Peace for this County to act 
in this affair as your Excellencies shall think fitt and that the 
order and letters may be enclosed to the Collector who is a 
Gentleman that I find would be very ready to serve the Govern- 
ment if he were in Commission of Peace and I humbly desire that 
no letter or order may be writt directly to the Mayor of the 
Town or to any other person except those who are nominated 
above for some good reasons which shall hereafter appeare 
before your Excellencies and in so doing I doubt not but the 
service will be compleated to your Excellencies satisfaction. 
I humbly begg there may be directions given that I may be 
safely protected in the Execution hereof or otherwise I shall be 
knockt in the head. I would have directed this to your Ex- 
cellencies but fearing there should be any notice taken thereof 
in the Post Office here, have given it to Major Wilkinson to 
inclose to Sir Thomas Southwell. I must further begg leave to 
acquaint your Excellencies that there is great disorder on foot 
in this town. I am afraid to explain myself fully before I can 
before your Excellencies. Had I any person here who is a 
stranger in this place in whom I could trust, I could putt him 
in a way to see those people Officiating in their habits for there 
is no one here I dare have discovered myself and design to, 
but the Collector and one Richard Scott who is officer of Excise 
in the town of Clonmell who, makes it his business in his walk 
to take a view of those people as well as the howses wherein 
they lodge. I humbly beg when they are apprehended that 
they may not be allowed to have any conference with each other. 
I alsoe humbly begg (if your Excellencies thinks fitt to write to 
the Mayor of the towne) that it may be enclosed to the Collector 
with order not to be delivered to the Mayor till I think fitt, With 
all humility and obedience I beg leave to subscribe my selfe 
your Excellencies most obedient humble servant, 


By the same post Tyrrell acquainted King, archbishop of 
Dublin : 

I have given their Excellencies an account at large of a Cardinall 
that now is in this towne from the Pope lately come over as 
also of some other Bishops and Popish clergy that are now in 
private meetings and among them there is the titulate Popish 
Bishop of Derry whose name is Edmund Cane but goes here by 
the name of Adams. I doe remember that your Grace was in 


the Council about three yeares agoe when an order passed for 
apprehending the said Cane and directions being sent to Capt. 
Michael Cole, Justice of Peace in this County who apprehended 
the said Cane but was Rescued from the said Justice. In short 
I must assure your Grace there is about nine hundred of those 
sort of persons landed in this kingdom what without doubt is 
not come upon any good design. .. ... __ 

This information was so momentous that the lords justices 
referred it to the Council. 

Dublin Castle 17 Jany. 1712-3. 

Sir The Lords Justices having received a letter from one Edward 
Tyrrell informing them of a Cardinall and severall Popish Bishops 
and Regulars of the Popish Clergy being in Clonmell, and of the 
countenance and protection they meet with there. Their 

- Excellencies thought fitt to communicate that letter to the 
Privy Council and I am commanded by the Board to send you 
the enclosed copy thereof with their pleasure that (in conjunction 
with Mr. Hammerton whose assistance you are to desire) you 
do require the said Tyrrell to come before you and take his 
examination upon Oath and then cause the laws to be put in 
Execution against such Cardinall, Bishops and Regulars if any 
such be in Clonmell. You are desired likewise to send for Mr. 
Wilkinson the Collector and Mr. Scott the Excise Officer whom 
Tyrrell mentions in his letter to give you what information they 
can in the matter. Their Excellencies and Council do expect 
you will return me an account of your proceedings therein. 

I must inform you that the said Tyrrell has formerly given infor- 
mation of matters of this kind to the Lords Justices and Council 
which he has not been able to make good, and that at this time 
he is not sent or has any authority from them to go upon the 
service he pretends to do. But however if any person what- 
ever will perform so good service as he undertakes now, they 
will be very ready to countenance it and do not doubt you will 
be zealous in prosecuting such Incendiaryes if they can be found 
in your town. Your most humble servant, 


To Thomas Batty Esq. one of her Majesty's Justices of Peace at 

Whether the concluding paragraphs damped the magisterial 
ardour does not appear but the "service" fizzled out miserably. 

Clonmel Jany. 21 1712-3. 

Sir I receaved yours of the 17th, by direction of theyr Excellencies 
the Lords Justices and Councell and inclosed in it a copy of a 
letter from Edward Tyrrell to theyr Excellencies the 10th instant 
from this town setting forth he could discover severall Popish 


Bishops and Regulars that were then in Clonmell. Pursuant to 
directions on receipt of the Letter I immediately inquired of 
Major Wilkinson, the Collector, and Mr. Scott the Excise officer 
what they knew of this matter and finde Tyrrell was in this 
towne for a boute a fortnight until last Saturday having notice 
given him by Major Wilkinson that he was advised not to have 
any further commerce with him he immediately went out of this 
towne as he pretended towards Corke which is all I can heare 
of this matter, only that from a greater concours of papists 
then usuall resorting this towne of late I believe there have 
been some such persons here of the Romish Clergy as above 
mentioned. But for the present I think they are dispersed, not 
from any apprehension of being discovered by Tyrrell but severall 
of the chief of the papist inhabitants of this town happening att 
this time to be summoned to take the oathes, theyr clergy have 
taken the alarme and are absconded. Your most humble servt. 


During the subsequent years there are several reports of 
proceedings sent in by the sheriffs and others. John White, high 
sheriff, writes from Cappagh 2nd June, 1714 : 

Inclosed I sent you a letter [missing] which I received from severall 
of the Justices of the peace of this county which they desired 
may be layd before their Excellencies the Lords Justices with 
full assurance that they will strictly putt the laws in Execution 
against all Popish priests and all other persons whatsoever who 
shall refuse to abjure the Pretender and will not be ameanable 
to the laws. I presume I may in a short time give their Ex- 
cellencies a good account of the proceedings of all the Justices 
of the peace of this County, most of whom have assured me 
that they will in their respective Barronys putt the laws in 
Execution according to their Excellencies Directions against all 
persons obnoxious to the laws. 

On the llth June, thirty of the magistrates of the county 
met in Cashel and resolved "that all the laws against priests and 
regulars and all other popish recusants shall be put in execution 
by us within the said county." Their proceedings were in some 
instances reported to Dublin. 

Tipperary June 23 1714. 

Sir In obedience to the directions which we received from his 
Grace the Duke of Shrewsbury, Lord Lieutenant of the kingdom, 
and Counsell by their letter of the 28th of May last we summoned 
the principal popish inhabitants of the Barony of Clanwilliam 
to appear before us at Tipperary on the 22 instant on purpose 
to inquire into the matter contained in the said letter, but our 


summons not being regarded by them we were forct to have 
recourse for information to the meaner sort of people by whom 
we found that Thomas Grace and David Hedderman popish 
priests (and not qualified by law to exercise their function) 
have of late Sellebrated Mass in the Parishes of Tipperary, 
Latten and Sronell for which we issued warrants against them. 
As to the other matter which we were directed to inquire into, 
we cant yet receive satisfactory information by reason that 
those who are privie to them, refuse to appear to give information 
concerning them but we desire you will assure their Excellencies 
the Lords Justices that we will use all proper means to discover 
whatsoever has been practiced to preiudice her Maiestie and the 
peace of her kingdom. We must observe to you that we sum- 
moned some new converts whose conduct and behaviour gave 
us grounds to feare they were not sincere Protestants with purpose 
to tender the abjuration oath but they also refused to appear 
for which reason we have issud warrants against them. We 
purpose soon to meet again on this occasion and you shall be 
informed of our proceedings that you may give their Excellencies 
account of the same. We are etc. 

Five other Justices of Peace write, 1st July, 1714, from Nenagh: 

Pursuant to order and resolution agreed to we did on the first, 
instant meet and examine on oath the Petty Constables of the 
severall parishes what Popish priests officiate without being 
registered ; without having taken the Oath of Abjuration. 
We have an account of three who are registered but not con- 
formed to the Law and will proceed against them accordingly. 
We cannot heer of any persons going abroad for foreign education 
nor of any persons exercising Ecclesiasticall Jurisdiction except 
one Denis Kennedy Priest of Kilbarran against whom we have 
issued our warrants. We have not any popish school master 
within Ormond Barony nor hear on strictest enquiry of any 
Popish priests lately come into this kingdom from beyond seas. 
We have an account of one curate or assistant whom we shall 
endeavour to apprehend. The Justices of the Peace of this 
Barony have long agoe caused the popish inhabitants of any 
credit to take the Abjuration Oath, except a few who are since 
come to live in said Barony or who absconded. 

25 July 1714. 

We further acquaint you that having proceeded in order to detect 
Popish regulars and Dignatories we were not able to discover 
any such in our Barony but having received Information against 
two popish priests in other Baronies viz. one Macnamara whose 
Christian name we do not know and one Daniel Davern who 
have celebrated masses lately, one of them being not registered 
and both not having taken the Oath of Abjuration. Against 


whom we have issued our Warrants as we have likewise done 
against some lay persons who being summoned in order to take 
the Oath have refused to appear. 


In Slievardagh barony the priests managed to escape obser- 
vation. Two justices wrote 6th July, 1714, from Killenaule, 
that they summoned the chief papists and upon the examination 
of one Owen Clancey they took informations against John Healy 
a popish schoolmaster, and Captain Butler of Clorine, suspected 
to be enlisting men for the Pretender. But upon the whole the 
magistrates earned the encomiums of the executive. Secretary 
Dawson, 31st July, acquainted the high sheriff : 

I am directed to acquaint you that their Excellencies and Lordships 
do very much approve of the zeal of the Justices of the Peace 
on this occasion and desire them to continue their care and 
diligence therein and in a few days you will receive a more 
particular answer. 

They evidently continued their diligence. 

Knockorden Feby. 5 1716. 

Sir In obedience to their Excellencies the Lord Justices directions 
by examining sondry Papists I have detected two Popish priests 
not registered according to Law, one Patrick Heas in Tipperary 
and one Darby Crow near Cullen in the County of Tipperary 
against whom I have issued warrants but they are not as yet 
taken. Your humble servant 


The returns sent in 1744 according to instructions, give some 
further insight into the state of things in Tipperary. 

Clonmel 7 March 1743-4. 

Sir In obedience to the command of his Grace the Lord Lieutenant 
and Council of this kingdom and on receipt of yours dated the 
3rd instant I immediately made all the Enquiry possible within 
this town and the liberties thereof for all Popish Archbishops, 
Bishops, Vicars General, Deans, Jesuits, Monks, friars and other 
regular popish Clergy and of all papists exercising any ecclesias- 
tical jurisdiction. And upon due and strict Inquiry and after 
examining upon Oath several Papist Inhabitants of this town to 
that purpose do finde that there are three persons viz. Thomas 
Hennessy who officiated as Popish Parish Priest of this town. 
Thomas Stritch who is assistant Priest under him and Walter 
Power a ffryer and that the usuall place of their Residence is 
in the town of Clonmel. Hennessy lives in a house of his own, 
Stritch in the house of Catherine Stritch, Widow, his mother, 


and Power in the ffryery house in the West subburb of Clonmel. 
That on receipt of the Proclamation sent him by the Govern- 
ment Boleyn Bigg .Esq. one of his Majesty's Justices of the 
Peace for County Tipperary who lives here Joyned me and we 
Immediately issued severall warrants directed to the sheriff of 
the said County to all high and petty Constables and to the 
Constables of the said Town to apprehend all popish Archbishops 
etc. and to search for all arms, armour and ammunition in 
Papists houses and other suspected places within said town and 
County. Which were immediately given into the hands of the 
Constables of this town with strict charge to putt the same in due 
execution which they did accordingly. And the Constables 
returned us account that they could find no popish priests nor 
arms etc. in the said town and liberties thereof and that they 
particularly searched the several houses wherein said priests 
lived and that they were fledd and gone away. That there is 
a very large Popish Mass house, well slated and in good repair 
in the west subburbs of this town and a thatched house called 
a fryery a little above the same and vast quantityes of papists 
in and about this town did usually frequent the same, but that 
said Mass house and fryery are now locked up and the keys 
thereof brought me. All which is most humbly submitted to 
his Grace and Privy Council by your Most obedient and humble 
servant. JN. LACKEY, Mayor. 

P.S. I shall take care from time to time punctually to observe 
all the commands of the Government. 

Cashell March 10 1743. 

Sir Pursuant to his Excellency's the Lord Lieutenant and Councils 
Order to me of 3rd inst I send you inclosed two Informations 
which show the number of the Popish Clergy in the City and 
Liberties of Cashell and am humbly of opinion that there are 
no Popish archbishops etc. Regular popish clergy or Papists 
exercising any ecclesiastical jurisdiction within this City or 
Liberties other than the persons particularly named in said 

I am further to Inform you that the Justices subscribing said 
Informations went through this City and Liberties in my aid 
and made diligent search for the persons in said Informations 
but could as yet apprehend none of them, they having made 
their escape, and at the same time searched for arms in all 
suspected places and found none. I also by order of Colonell 
Pennefather transmit to you the Information of the popish 
Inhabitants of the Town of Thurles, who am your humble servant. 


County of Tipperary City of Cashell. 

The Informations of Richard Kelly shopkeeper, Denis Ryan 
Innholder, John Berane and Daniel Kelly, Wiggmaker, popish 


inhabitants of the said City taken before us the 6th day of March 
1743-4. Who being severally and duly sworn on the holly Evan- 
gilists and Examined deposeth and saith that Timothy Fogarty 
is the resident popish priest that officiates and celebrates mass 
in the parish of St. John Cashell and that they verelly believe 
he has no station in the popish church such as Vicar Generall, 
Dean, Jesuit, monk or frier and is only priest of the aforesaid 
parish. They further deposeth that James Meagher is a popish 
priest but has no parish to take care of nor do they believe 
that he the said Meagher has any station in the church as above. 
They further deposeth that Denis Brien and Phillip Dwyer are 
both friers and live in a house they rent in the subburbs of the 
said City and that Timothy Fogarty and James Meagher both 
live in houses they rent in said City and they severally deposeth 
that they know of no other popish clergy of any kind or degree 
whatsoever within the said City or Liberties thereof and they further 
severally deposeth that Christopher Butler is the reputed titular 
Bishop of the Diocese of Cashell and that his reputed place of 
abode is at Kilcash near Clonmell in the said County, and further 
saith not. Taken and sworn before us the 6 day of March 1743-4. 
EDWD. LHOYD Dep Mayor of the City of Cashel. RICHD. KELLY. 



( The second information which is of similar tenor was sworn 
by Edward Scully, Innholder: 

County of Tipperary. Town of Thurles. 

The Information of John Cormack, Robert Shee, Inholder, James 
Fogarty, shop keeper, George Creagh, shop keeper, all popish 
inhabitants in said town as also John Langton. 

Who being severally sworn on the Holy Evangelists Deposeth and 
saith that Michel Fiha (sic) is resident Popish Priest that officiates 
and celebrates mass in the parish of Thurles and that they 
verily believe he has no station in the popish church as Vicar 
Generall, Jesuit, Monk or Frier and is only priest of the aforesaid 
parish. They further depose that James Prendergast is a frier, 
Valentine Delany and one Hogan whose Christian name they 
don't know are friers alsoe and reside in said town. And they 
further depose that John Ryan and one Byrne whose Christian 
name they dont know are ffriers and appear sometimes in said 
Town but are not Residents of it. And they further depose 
that William Howley who is the popish priest of the Town of 
Fethard is the reputed Vicar Generall as they often heard and 
verily believe of the Diocese of Cashell. And they further depose 
that John Wale is a popish priest who officiates sometimes and 
did celebrate mass in the chapel of Thurles and often frequents 
said town but is no Resident. And they further depose that 


Christopher Butler is the titular archbishop of the Diocese of 
Cashell and is so reputed and that his reputed place of abode 
is at Kilcash near Clonmel in said County and further saith not. 
Taken and sworn before us on the 9 of March 1743-4. 

It is often thought that despite the efforts of the executive 
and the parliament, the laws against priests were not, and never 
could be enforced owing to the good feeling of the local authorities. 
Doubtless in many cases this was true. But the documentary 
evidence points rather the other way to the restraining influence 
of government. If the request of the grand jurors in the following 
instance were granted and the proclamation issued, the legal effect 
would be that the priest might be shot at discretion by any 
drunken squire. 

County of Tipperary to wit. At a General Assizes and General 
Gaol Delivery held at Clonmel in and for the County of Tipperary 
the 16 day of March 1750. 

We the Grand Jury at said Assizes in lawful manner Sworn and 
charged Present John Hally late of Killerke in the County of 
Tipperary, popish priest, who stands indicted as of record re- 
remaining in the Crown Office of said County, for that he 
contemptuously and unlawfully did endeavour to seduce and 
pervert Charles Moore a professed Protestant of the Church of 
Ireland as by Law established from his said profession and 
Excite and abett him, the said Charles Moore, to receive and 
embrace the form and Ceremonies of the Church of Rome for 
which he hath not yet received Tryal as by the Clerk of the Crown 
certified to be a Tor